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Learning to Say Goodbye

Learning to Say Goodbye

May is graduation time. So for many of us, it is a time for goodbyes. It is also a good time to reflect on the importance and even the gift of goodbyes, for all of us. We understandably dread goodbyes, especially with those we love most. Moments of parting can be...

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Out Standing on the Earth

Out Standing on the Earth

“Alone of all, the human race lifts up its head on high, and stands in easy balance with the body upright... Thy glance is upward, and thou dost carry high thy head, and so thy gaze is skyward...” Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy Philosophers and theologians,...

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Wishing You Many Years

Wishing You Many Years

“Mnohaya lita” Ukrainian wish for birthday and other celebrations, rooted in Byzantine liturgy. Literally, many years. I have always loved the Ukrainian version of “Happy Birthday,” which I first encountered when I met my wife’s family. In its several melodic...

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The Gift of Kissing

The Gift of Kissing

“The physical kiss should be offered or accepted only for fixed and honest reasons.” Aelred of Rievaulx It seems to me that the topic of kissing calls for some clear thinking and straight talking. Kissing is clearly a gift to all of us. It is something of nature,...

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Hearing the Way to Life

Hearing the Way to Life

“Hearing is the way to life...” Thomas Aquinas The five external senses are an astounding gift, with a uniquely rich role in life. And the action of each of them can stand for something even more profound than their primary usage. We speak of seeing, or of tasting,...

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Easter, That the Hidden Festivity Break Through

Easter, That the Hidden Festivity Break Through

“If any specific day is to be singled out from the rest and celebrated as a festival, this can only be done as the manifestation of a perpetual though hidden festivity.” Josef Pieper, In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity Easter joy. In these powerful words is...

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Craftsmanship Vs. Money-Making

Craftsmanship Vs. Money-Making

“...you thought that the shepherd as a shepherd tends the sheep not with a view to their own good, but like a mere diner or banqueter with a view to the pleasures of the table; or, again, as a trader for sale in the market, and not as a shepherd.” Plato, Republic Both...

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To Be or Not To Be, a Craftsman

To Be or Not To Be, a Craftsman

“And aren’t the respective crafts by nature set over them to seek and provide what is to their advantage?” Socrates, Plato’s Republic Rereading the first book of the Republic, I was struck by a bolt of lightning. Plato saw the root question of human life. To be or not...

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A Time in Life for Pruning, Now

A Time in Life for Pruning, Now

Before she comes, prune the vines. It is better this way. Hesiod, Works and Days The other day my wife and I were pruning our peach trees. According to Hesiod we were late—for the star Arcturus (the ‘she’ in the quotation) appears at the end of February. As Hesiod...

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When a Woman Says Yes

When a Woman Says Yes

“...for a common life is above all things natural to the female and to the male.” Aristotle, Oeconomica One telling aspect of a marriage proposal is that the man usually has a bit to say. Even if he doesn’t actually put it all into words, he needs to be ready to give...

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When a Man Proposes

When a Man Proposes

“...for a common life is above all things natural to the female and to the male.” Aristotle, Oeconomica Even as marriage between a man and a woman is undermined, ridiculed, or simply set aside, we naturally feel the power and poignancy of a man proposing to a woman....

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Having a Homely House in Ugly Times

Having a Homely House in Ugly Times

“...the Last Homely House...a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The...

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