New Years

In Avalon, New Jersey with friends for New Years and leaving Monday afternoon. Visiting the shore in wintertime is a strange thing, mainly because a place you’re used to experiencing full of other people is almost deserted. A place you’re used to experiencing in the heat of summer with wide open windows is instead cold…

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Windows that open

It’s winter, so I’m thinking about summer. I’m thinking specifically of the warm breezes of summer. I’m thinking of how difficult it is to enjoy natural weather in the summer in modern buildings whose window don’t open for safety/liability reasons as much as because we demand climate controlled spaces. But these characteristics of our times are…

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Civilization, continuity, memory

Dominique Venner writes: “Memory” is a much abused word. But so too is the word “love,” which doesn’t mean it can’t be used in its fullest sense. It’s the force of “memory,” transmitted within the bosom of the family, that enables a community to endure, despite all that seeks its dissolution. It’s the long “memory”…

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Education as escape

Paul Beston writes on the experience of a young man: He had been a talented but utterly indifferent student, and it is only after he leaves college that he understands what an education really means: “To escape from the little island of the living. To know what thinking men and women have felt and seen…

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Christ’s otherness

Joe Sobran wrote many years ago: The Western world, including many of those who consider themselves Christians, has turned Christmas into a bland holiday of mere niceness. … Some people think you can take Christ’s “teachings” and ignore his miracles as if they were fables. But this is to confuse the Sermon on the Mount…

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Christianity’s historical coherence

Fr. Robert Barron’s “Catholicism” series is great. It’s a new media series sharing the story of the faith across ten, hour-long episodes. It’s a genuinely incredible series. Fr. Barron is a sophisticated and powerful conveyer of the Christian story. In “Amazed and Afraid: The Revelation of God Become Man,” comes the story of Francis Cardinal George’s reflection as he stood…

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Merry Christmas

A friend of mine shared In Hoc Anno Domini, which the Wall Street Journal has been publishing each year for the past 70 years. It’s a beautiful reminder that the liberty we celebrate in America is an echo of the first revolution that was Christ’s appearance in the human story: When Saul of Tarsus set out…

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Christmas music

Earlier this fall I sent off three of my grandfather’s magnetic audio reels to South Tree for conversion to digital format. Pop recorded these in the early 1960s, and until last fall they had been sitting in a basement. I frankly wasn’t sure if any of the audio had survived when I sent them off. It turned out…

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We’re proof of a mystery

“The body, and it alone is capable of making visible what is invisible, the spiritual and divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world, the invisible mystery hidden in God from time immemorial, and thus to be a sign of it.” – John Paul the Great It’s nearly Christmas, which…

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Christmas ghost stories

“There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.” “Why ‘ghost stories’ at Christmastime?” I’ve heard this question raised among friends and figured I’d share what I’ve found. First, see A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Delving into the question this answer raises…

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