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Making the Times that Matter

Making the Times that Matter

“There is a valley in south England remote from ambition and from fear...” Hilaire Belloc, 'The Mowing of a Field' Reading a Belloc essay aloud is one of my favorite things to do with students in my home—or in this case around a bonfire. Such readings were very...

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Start with How You Eat

Start with How You Eat

“We can ask whether and to what extent our customs about eating are informed by insights into our nature. We can even ask whether and to what extent our customs about eating contribute to the perfection of our nature.” Leon Kass, The Hungry Soul Saying ‘goodbye’ to...

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Another Gift in Suffering

Another Gift in Suffering

“Through pain I’ve learned To comfort suffering men.” Virgil, The Aeneid (Dido to Aeneas) The incomparable Virgil once again gives us words through which to see our own life. There is a reason that in Dante’s masterpiece The Divine Comedy Virgil acts as a guide....

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What the Raspberries Said

What the Raspberries Said

“The more things change, the more they stay the same." Proverbial statements often contain much wisdom. When they come to mind, it might be a fitting opportunity to ponder what deeper truth they contain. This proverb came to my mind while pruning raspberries with my...

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The Manliness Behind the Martial

The Manliness Behind the Martial

“Yi was a skillful archer, and Ao was a powerful naval commander, and yet neither of them met a natural death. Yu and Hou Ji, on other hand, did nothing but personally tend to the land, and yet they both ended up with possession of the world.” Confucius, Analects As...

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Coming to Yourself

Coming to Yourself

“I must first know myself, as the Delphian inscription says...” Socrates, in Plato’s Phaedrus “But when he came to himself...” The Prodigal Son Today I received an email from a student. He shared with me a moment of self-discovery. In class he had seen something...

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Three Things for Ukraine

Three Things for Ukraine

“Grief everywhere, Everywhere terror, and all shapes of death.” Virgil, The Aeneid War is a horror. And as there is consistently war somewhere, in our ‘connected’ world we learn to live under the cloud of war. Yet some wars are more proximate, engaging us more...

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The Last Defense of Our Homes

The Last Defense of Our Homes

“A time may come soon when...there will be need of valor without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defense of our homes. Yet the deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.” J.R. Tolkien’s Aragorn, The Lord of the Rings...

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Why a Doctor Prays

Why a Doctor Prays

“And give the physician his place, for the Lord created him... There is a time when success lies in the hands of physicians, for they too will pray to the Lord that he should grant them success in diagnosis and in healing, for the sake of preserving life.” Ben Sira,...

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A Man Who Fasts

A Man Who Fasts

“To any ladies who wish to get married, I suggest: Marry a man who can fast.” a Benedictine This is an interesting requirement in looking for a spouse. Immediately we might reflect that surely anyone can fast. But then again, there is fasting, and there is fasting....

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The Power of Little Boys

The Power of Little Boys

"I take this to Mommy." A little boy in the woods The other day while cutting firewood I had occasion to reflect on one of the great wonders of the world: the human boy-child. My two and a half year old grandson is, how else to say this?, one hundred percent boy....

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A Man’s Fear about Being a Man

A Man’s Fear about Being a Man

If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage. Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well There is often fear in marriage, and it can be of several kinds. I think Shakespeare’s object here is perhaps the primary fear attending marriage,...

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