As we anticipate the birth of Jesus, we have a poetic reflection from a homily by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot. Narrated at St. Dominic Priory by Br. Adrian McCaffery, O.P. As found in the Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings, for December 20th.
Sometimes it is said that a certain bullet-point in the Rule of St. Augustine—the Rule we friars follow—should be interpreted “in its spirit,” not “in its letter.” Frankly I don’t often know what’s meant by these words; they seem whisked over so many un-relatable cases. I do know, however, that what is sometimes meant is […]
Whoso enjoys fine manners and likes to sharpen his/her claws on bright things, I can recommend two books by the same author: Baltasar Gracián, a seventeenth century Spanish Jesuit and philosopher. I might have added “mystic,” but there is, pshaw, no proof. He is, nevertheless, still respected for his contributions to literature. I know these books […]
How do you really know when a fiction, like a novel, is propaganda or not? Philip Pullman, well-known British author, is writing a new trilogy set in the same fictional multiverse as His Dark Materials. The new trilogy begins with The Book of Dust, which comes out in October. (A TV-series based on Pullman’s His Dark Materials, his […]
i. A favorite of mine, Ursula Le Guin,—one of the Top Ones writing in English today,—on February 1 wrote a “letter to the editor” piece for The Oregonian, making a goodish stab at a conversation about “fiction” and “alternative facts.” Le Guin is honest, bare. Like terracotta, her writing is what it is: useful, […]
This is a reflection, not a review, of Scorsese’s “Silence,” and not Endo’s novel by the same name. It is a reflection on a set of questions. I think Scorsese’s version evokes in us more sympathy for Sebastian Rodriguez than we might experience for that same-named man in the novel. Endo’s “Silence” seems to make the […]
In merry England in 1644, the happy season of Christmas was outlawed by Christians. Puritans rose to Parliament, and the jolly holiday was nearly made into a day of mourning. Plum puddings, as well as fruitcakes, were considered diabolic. All feasting became fasting. The smallest holly wreath or tinsel decoration suggested, or rather manifested, civil […]