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Three Beautiful Things in the Cosmos

Three Beautiful Things in the Cosmos

“My soul takes pleasure in three things, and they are beautiful in the sight of the Lord and of men; agreement between brothers, friendship between neighbors, and a wife and a husband who live in harmony.” Sirach I wonder what these words sound like to the young. I...

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Manual Workers, Wisdom, and Cosmic Order

Manual Workers, Wisdom, and Cosmic Order

“How can he become wise who handles the plough? ...each becomes wise through his work.” Sirach Ben Sira and Aristotle are of one mind regarding the scribe’s pursuit of wisdom. “The wisdom of the scribe depends on the opportunity of leisure; and he who has little...

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A Wife in Her Well-Ordered Home

A Wife in Her Well-Ordered Home

“Like the sun rising in the heights of the Lord, so is the beauty of a good wife in her well-ordered home.” Sirach There is so much to fathom in these words in praise of a good wife. What a revelatory simile/metaphor! Like the sun rising, so is the beauty of a good...

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Ruling Our Households Like the Cosmos

Ruling Our Households Like the Cosmos

“...when he made them he precisely determined their portions. He arranged his works in an eternal order, and their dominion for all generations; they neither hunger nor grow weary, and they do not cease from their labors...they will never disobey his word.” Sirach...

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Learning to Hear Again, Starting with Nature

Learning to Hear Again, Starting with Nature

“A man may have hearing and yet not be hearing...” Aristotle, On the Soul We probably take hearing for granted, as though simply something we can do at will. But what if without realizing it we are actually hard of hearing, or even deaf? Hearing is a wonderful and...

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Choosing Toil this Summer

Choosing Toil this Summer

“The Father himself Willed that the path of tillage be not smooth, And first ordained that skill should cultivate The land, by care sharpening the wits of mortals...” Virgil, The Georgics Summer has begun. As a kind of new beginning, every season offers a natural...

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When a Man Becomes a Priest

When a Man Becomes a Priest

When my daughter was three her uncle was in formation to become a priest. One morning she asked: “After Uncle (X) becomes a priest, will he ever become a man again?” It dawned on us that this amusing question has real weight. An ancient Latin word for priest means...

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A Great Reason to Maintain Our Home with Care

A Great Reason to Maintain Our Home with Care

“Now to cultivate something is to devote one’s attention to it. And we can cultivate something in two ways: either to make what is cultivated better, as we cultivate a field... or to make ourselves better by the cultivating, and in this way we cultivate wisdom.”...

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Having No Real Friends

Having No Real Friends

“Those who have a host of friends and are on familiar terms with everybody seem to be real friends of no one.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics It is our worst nightmare. Everyone else has real friends. But somehow I don’t, because I’m just not up to it, or people just...

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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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