Paradise and Pomegranates

Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates with the fruits of the orchard. Canticle of Canticles, 4:13 According to nutritionists, the pomegranate is a “superfood,” containing a high concentration of nutrients with a panoply of beneficial health effects. The fruit is also visually spectacular, as the above photo illustrates. Sacred scripture chooses the pomegranate asContinue reading “Paradise and Pomegranates”

With Eyes Alone

And the Lord turning looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, As he had said: Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter, going out, wept bitterly. Luke 22:61-62 Peter, whom Christ has proclaimed the rock upon which his Church is founded, denies his Lord before the servantsContinue reading “With Eyes Alone”

Help and Consolation

Thou true God and son of David, who already from eternity and from afar have seen intimately my heartache and bodily pain: have mercy on me! And let thy miraculous hand, that has turned aside so much evil, act for me likewise as help and consolation. Du wahrer Gott, by J. S. Bach (Music) FromContinue reading “Help and Consolation”

Looking in the Mirror

If a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass. For he beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was. James 1:23-24 St. Catherine of Sienna is famous, among other things,Continue reading “Looking in the Mirror”

Seeing the Beauty of Courage

A characteristic feature of virtue is its beauty. The habitual capacity to grasp what is good, to relish it, and to act upon it, is an invisible quality that inspires admiration and love, when we perceive it in others. When we find it in ourselves, it offers peace of soul. One apparent exception to thisContinue reading “Seeing the Beauty of Courage”

A Complaint Against the Gods

Orual is the eldest daughter of a barbarian king. Her father, an incompetent ruler fruitlessly pining for a male heir, leaves her to be schooled in philosophy by a Greek slave, and in the arts of battle by the captain of the royal guard. By the novel’s end, Orual has succeeded to the throne andContinue reading “A Complaint Against the Gods”

Simple Souls, Unite!

All simple souls mutually approve and esteem each other, saying: let us go each by her own path to the common goal, united in that point, and by the selfsame identical means, of the Order of God so variously expressed in us all. This is the spirit in which we should read lives of saintsContinue reading “Simple Souls, Unite!”

Pancake People vs. Cathedral Souls

In this fine essay (pages 21-34), Margaret Hughes considers what makes a cathedral like Notre Dame simultaneously “delightful” and “terrible.” The answer helps to explain why contemporary man finds it hard to appreciate, much less replicate, this kind of awful beauty. Modern philosophy abandons the classical notion of the soul, by which our inner livesContinue reading “Pancake People vs. Cathedral Souls”

Carrying Cross and Candle

That to profane eyes was contemptible, which the hearts of saints would afterwards glory in: Christ displaying his own cross on his shoulders, and bearing that which was not to be put under a bushel, the candlestick of that candle which was now about to burn. st augustine Christ bids us light our candles andContinue reading “Carrying Cross and Candle”

His Soul is His Own

Every subject’s duty is the king’s; but every subject’s soul is his own. Henry V, Act 4, Scene 1 According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the purpose of authority is to help each and every member of a community achieve happiness. For human beings, happiness consists in a life tending toward the perfection of a natureContinue reading “His Soul is His Own”