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Loving the Unneighborly

Not every neighbor is lovable. When our Lord commanded us, “love thy neighbor as thyself,” he was himself addressing a gathering of neighbors—the Pharisees—who regarded him as an enemy (Mt. 22:34-46). “Hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees,” they might have paused to give thanks, but instead they took it as an opportunity to exposeContinue reading “Loving the Unneighborly”

Keeping the Constitution Alive

Among the “long train of abuses and usurpations” perpetrated under color of British authority, the Declaration of Independence lists one whose phrasing is downright curious: “the present King of Great-Britain” has “combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws.” To what constitution are the colonialsContinue reading “Keeping the Constitution Alive”

Wreaking Holy Havoc

A certain minor celebrity, alternately smiling and scowling at us from his awkward perch atop Holy Mother Church, has repeatedly instructed us as follows, in his native Spanish: Hagan lo! Given the tenacity with which this man has steered from one scandal into another, it’s hard to shake the impression that the kind of messContinue reading “Wreaking Holy Havoc”

Self-Evident Eloquence

In an 1852 speech celebrating the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Frederick Douglass finds himself in the awkward position of having to persuade his fellow countrymen to accept the manifest consequences of the self-evident truths proclaimed in our founding document, and so to abolish slavery. How does one demonstrate the self-evident? “Where all isContinue reading “Self-Evident Eloquence”

Free Men and Slaves

According to Plato’s Athenian Stranger, there are two sorts of doctors, corresponding to two sorts of patients. On each side, there are “slaves and free.” Slave doctors “acquire the art by following their master’s command,” “but not by following nature.” Generally, they are permitted to treat their fellow slaves. In doing so, the slave doctorContinue reading “Free Men and Slaves”

Lusting Against the Flesh

Lust is an ugly thing. The “works of the flesh,” which “lusts against the spirit,” include such miserable misbehaviors as “fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcraft, enmities, contentions, emulations, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, reveling,” and others of a like nature (Gal. 5:17-21). All of which, we might note, have been exceptionally popular fromContinue reading “Lusting Against the Flesh”

The Jealousy of God

Seeking to put to rest certain heretical claims concerning the law of Moses, St. Paul draws a sharp distinction between that law and the promise of the Gospel. The ordinances of the old covenant were given “by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not of one: but God is one”Continue reading “The Jealousy of God”

The Times Ahead

Robert Hugh Benson is most famous for his 1907 novel Lord of the World. Set in the early 21st century, it describes the ascent of Antichrist, whose kingdom—much more familiar in style and substance than we would care to think—emerges both naturally and preternaturally from the technological and technocratic tendencies of modern society. As theContinue reading “The Times Ahead”

Speaking of Glory

Musicologists have noted that Vivaldi saved his best music for the Church. Consulting their own sensibilities, they tend to think this is because it’s where he found his largest audience. Consulting this blogger’s, I’d rather believe it had something to do with the Red Priest’s desire to glorify his Lord. Speaking of glory, we areContinue reading “Speaking of Glory”

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