Michael S. Rose
Brown believes he can dabble with the Devil just this once and then return to Faith spiritually unscathed and continue his earthly pilgrimage to Heaven.
Markheim is confronted at the scene of his crime by a mysterious “visitant” who seems to be giving him advice on how best to escape being caught.
FLANNERY O'CONNOR ON MAN'S EFFORTS AND ETERNITY
Edmund B. Miller
Man’s efforts are lost if they are not embedded in and do not proceed from the eternal perspective, without which they remain fragmented impulses.
Chaucer satirizes the hypocrite and the fraudster, especially he who uses his talents -- like preaching -- for his own gain.
A VALIDATION OF FAMILY, MARRIAGE, & NATURAL HUMAN VALUES
Shelley’s novel can be read as a validation of the family, marriage, and natural human values in contrast to the overreaching desires of the prideful scientist.
Huxley articulates, through an engaging narrative, the underlying philosophies that in any century will dehumanize us and lead us away from God and all that is truly good and beautiful.
HIGH AMONG CLASSICS OF CATHOLIC SPIRITUALITY
F. Douglas Kneibert
The Imitation is the finest work of Catholic spirituality. Thomas à Kempis’s voice speaks to us today with the same authority that his monks heard nearly six centuries ago.
A ROUND OF VISITS ACROSS DECAYING CHRISTENDOM
We travel under the pretense of being receptive, really looking for what we think we already know. Yet we are occasionally genuinely surprised.
Willa Cather understands there’s a bleak side to the Romantic ideal of the American dream, a critical misinterpretation that the dream focuses on you rather than on others.
Should we try to repair our imperfections using our human ingenuity and genius? In other words, should man aspire to control nature, to play God?
Poe uses the doppelgänger motif as a physical manifestation of Wilson’s conscience and ultimately shows the demise of a man who, blinded by his sins, kills his own conscience.
Then as now, opinion makers try to reduce those who testify against Church corruption to resentful reactionaries working out their revenge.
For the original vampire slayers, most of them nominal Anglicans, the efficacy of Catholic sacramentals and the Sacrament quickly becomes apparent.
Once Faustus takes possession of Mephistophilis as his servant, it becomes apparent that the Devil isn’t so much serving as manipulating him.
A KERYGMA FOR THE UNCATECHIZED
ON GENERATION X'S WANDERLUST
LOVING & HATING ARIGHT
AMASSING CREDIT IN THE TREASURE HOUSE OF MERIT
TO LIVE WELL & ENJOY BEAUTY
AN ABERRATION ? AN OXYMORON ?
Andrew M. Seddon
JESUS CONTRA JACQUES
The truth of the Incarnation and the Mystical Body of Christ offers both hope for loved ones lost and an exemplar to be emulated in our relating to the dead.
EVIL FOR EVIL'S SAKE
SHAKESPEARE, RACINE & CATHOLIC DRAMA
THE VIRTUE THAT SAVED CIVILIZATION
ALL THE CHURCH'S A STAGE
Macbeth, Lear, Othello, Hamlet, Falstaff, Henry IV — are these immortal portraits of sinful humanity not the very crucible of Shakespeare’s art?
LESSONS FROM LITERATURE
Anne Barbeau Gardiner
WHAT HAS HISTORY REVEALED?
IS IT MORE ACCESSIBLE THAN THE TRUE & THE GOOD?
James G. Hanink
ACCIDENTS & ESSENCE
Chene Richard Heady
A review of The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, Volume 36: The Illustrated London News, 1932-1934
Joseph T. Stuart
Had they met, the English writer and the French philosopher would have had an interesting exchange of ideas over a nice cup of tea.
ENCOUNTERS WITH GOD
NEITHER UTOPIAN NOR CYNICAL
"No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannize and force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability."
STRUGGLE FOR THE AMERICAN SOUL
James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans is the birthright of every American; it helps to explain who we are to ourselves.
BATTLE STRATEGIES OF THE SEXES
Alice von Hildebrand
Literature offers many examples highlighting the fact that, in very subtle ways, men can be victimized -- even “tortured” -- by the fair sex.
DISCIPLES OF JAQUES, NOT JESUS
Our rewriting of the great drama of life, which should proceed like a mysterious tale full of wonder and engagement, is a sad soliloquy.
CULTIVATING THE MORAL SENTIMENTS
The truly human needs are the very things not absolutely necessary for mere survival: dignity, respect, gratitude, and kindness.
THE FIRST MODERN MAN: NOT MARX, BUT MONTAIGNE
by Mitchell Kalpakgian
Today sensitivity is a virtue, stimuli are irresistible, environment is determinative, and we prefer our chicken frozen and wrapped in plastic.
Good books aren’t highways or avenues of mass transport. They’re foot trails, the kind that are traveled single file or not at all.
GRASPING THE UNIVERSAL THROUGH THE PARTICULAR
Brownson argues that Man grasps the universal only through a particular (and inevitably divisive) set of loyalties, as opposed to a watery eclecticism.
John J. Reilly
Predictive Scripture differs from the odd example of human prescience in that it tells us the eternal significance of events to which it alludes.
BEYOND NOVELS AS A FORM OF DIVERSION
Ed Block Jr.
The novelist calls characters into being and prods them forth toward a closure which, once reached, turns all that came before radiant with meaning.
ECCLESIASTICAL COMEDY AS DEEPENED COMEDY
Powers once remarked that he views the human condition as essentially comic, and that writing about priests complicates or deepens the comedy.
OPPORTUNISM & FEAR AMONG THE INTELLECTUALS
James J. Thompson Jr.
Review of Evelyn Waugh: The Early Years by Martin Stannard
CHRIST & NEIGHBOR
John C. Cort
A people, such as the Russians, who have produced and who still honor writers like Gorki, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy deserve to be regarded with respect.
When Thomas Hardy’s "Jude the Obscure" was published, Victorian England was hardly ready to accept that novel’s story of a love affair between cousins.
In every Percy novel there is a complex, religiously sensitive yet also modern and scientific sensibility at work.
Bruce L. Edwards Jr.
Endo seeks to foster and exemplify such religious concepts as sin, redemption, and resurrection in his characterization and plot.
The world is wolfish, devouring, full of evil, Silone knew — yet, good will and love are also constantly in evidence: God’s gift to us.
Although Murdoch’s characters have banished God, they have yet to rid themselves of sin, guilt, and evil; God is dead but Satan thrives.
The opening struggle for a New Jerusalem is naturally beyond anyone’s ken. A novelist, perhaps alone among us, has the capacity to make compelling guesses.
CHRISTIAN CLASSICS REVISITED
St. Francis was that rarest of revolutionaries: one impelled by love rather than by hatred veneered with the catchwords of brotherhood.
Carl R. Schmahl
Good fiction uses the events and tensions of everyday life on one level to draw us deeper and deeper into the writer’s perception of truth or reality on another.
Political activists of every stripe distrust Percy, for none of them knows exactly where to peg him.
Cheever is a melioristic figure in contemporary literature. But whether such a tatterdemalion figure can be “baptized” is another matter.
At times Christian writers have entered that exclusive realm where profound insight into the wisdom of Christianity joins artistic merit to produce fiction of a higher order.
Waugh never attempted to palliate his sins or weasel out of their consequences; he believed in the fallen state of man because he clearly discerned his own bent nature.
Language should reflect reality. If it doesn’t, what possible limits could be placed on misleading, manipulative language?
- Karl Keating