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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...

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A Different Thinking, Every Day

A Different Thinking, Every Day

“There is an order that reason does not establish but only beholds, such is the order of things in nature.” Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics What do we spend our time and energy thinking about? For most of us, living what is traditionally...

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When in Doubt the Go-To Principle

When in Doubt the Go-To Principle

I shall reproach him because he attaches little importance to the most important things and greater importance to inferior things. Socrates, Plato’s Apology Trying to live a good life, you spend your days deliberating about hard questions. There is no way around this....

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Living in Times You Did Not Choose

Living in Times You Did Not Choose

“I wish it need not have happened in my time.” “So do I and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings I have seen a lot of...

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What are We Watching?

What are We Watching?

“Moral good is a practical stimulus: it is no sooner seen, than it inspires an impulse to practice…” Plutarch Experience shows the tremendous power of simply seeing moral good enacted. This, in part, is why they say you never know all the effects of your good action....

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Nature: What It Takes for Us to Notice

Nature: What It Takes for Us to Notice

“Of things that exist, some exist by nature, some from other causes.” Aristotle, Physics Why is it that we tend to appreciate less and less that which we see often? Herein is surely one of the great banes and challenges of human life. We grow used to things. There is...

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The Hunt for Wisdom

The Hunt for Wisdom

“Pursue wisdom like a hunter, and lie in wait on her paths.” Ben Sira (Sirach 14:22) There is something primordial about hunting. In part, because we all need to find certain things—things that call for hunting of some kind. Hunting done well is always about life....

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Tolkienian Wisdom for Christmastide and the New Year

Tolkienian Wisdom for Christmastide and the New Year

“The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song.” J.R. Tolkien, The Lord of...

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