Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

Feast of St Mark, Bishop of Arethusa
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels As Eyewitness Testimony by Richard Bauckham

Christ_Teaching_Square.jpegTHE ROLE of eyewitnesses in transmitting true information about Jesus and his ministry is affirmed in many crucial passages of the New Testament, epitomized in the First Epistle of John: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have... Continue Reading


The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks

Feast of St. Patrick
The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks translated by Benedicta Ward

Ward_desert_frs_square.jpgTHIS TRANSLATION of the Vitae Patrum has it all: comical stories, thwarted demons, sagacious aphorisms, and hard truths. Open the book at random and you’ll find a pearl some fourth century monk sold all for and spent a lifetime seeking. Take Bessarion, who on his deathbed said, “A monk ought to be... Continue Reading


The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse

Feast of St Procopius the Confessor and St Raphael of Brooklyn
The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse by Steven D. Smith

Disenchantment_of_Secular_Discourse_Square.jpegTHOSE WHO bemoan (or tune out) that American tower of Babel known as “public discourse” should certainly tune in to these reflections on why such conversations are either deplorably shallow, degraded, or at best inconclusive. Smith dismisses the usual suspects (technology, education, religion in the public square) to focus... Continue Reading


A Secular Age

Feast of Theophany and St. Theophane the Recluse
A Secular Age by Charles Taylor

Taylors_Secular_Age_Square.jpgWE MODERNS tend to believe in God reflectively rather than reflexively. Such a reduction is useful in navigating one of the most important contributions to the definition of the secular. Having described the nature of the person in Sources of the Self, Taylor seeks to understand the person-in-the-world: “How did we move from a condition... Continue Reading


Beauty for Truth's Sake

Feast of the Great Martyr Anastasia of Rome
Beauty for Truth's Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education by Stratford Caldecott

Caldecott_Beauty_square.jpegG. K. CHESTERTON nicely frames the problems of modern culture, and as a result, modern education: “People are inundated, blinded, deafened, and mentally paralysed by a flood of vulgar and tasteless externals, leaving them no time for leisure, thought, or creation from within themselves.” Unapologetically, Stratford Caldecott (editor of... Continue Reading


St. Ambrose: Seven Exegetical Works

Feast of the Holy Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus
St. Ambrose: Seven Exegetical Works Fathers of the Church, Volume 65

Ambrose_Square.jpgCHURCH historians tell us that Ambrose considered preaching a sacred duty. He addressed his flock on all Sundays and feast days, and every day during the season of Lent. The seven sermons presented in this work were prepared (and likely delivered) between 386 and 394. Included are Isaac, or... Continue Reading


The Mother of God: A Letter to the Rev. E. B. Pusey

Feast of the Holy Prophet Habakkuk
The Mother of God: A Letter Addressed to the Rev. E. B. Pusey, D.D., on His Recent Eirenicon by John Henry Newman, edited with an introduction by Stanley L. Jaki

Newman_Square.jpegTHIS IS A “simple” writing, another of Newman’s sharp but elegant replies to those who opposed Roman dogma and practice in his day. Simple, because in it Newman is not composing a systematic... Continue Reading


On the Human Condition

Feast of All Saints
On the Human Condition by St. Basil the Great; translated by Nonna Verna Harrison

Basil__On_Human_Condition_book_cover.jpgTHE ACTS of the Apostles says of the early Christians that, “the whole group were of one heart and soul. . . and nobody said that anything he had was his own, but to them all things were common.” Possessions are transient, but the Faith is the inheritance of every generation,... Continue Reading


The Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years

Feast of Eulampius & Eulampia the Martyrs
Christian_West_and_its_Singers_Square.jpegThe Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years by Christopher Page

READING this account of liturgical singing in the early Church, one marvels at the detective work of Dr. Page, a reader in Medieval Literature and Musicology at Cambridge. No musical scores survived this period (staff notation itself was first developed in the 11th century, as an aid to... Continue Reading


Homilies on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel

Feast of St Thecla the Protomartyr & Equal to the Apostles
Gregory_on_Ezekiel_Square.jpgHomilies on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel by St. Gregory the Great; translated by Theodosia Tomkison

ORIGINALLY delivered in AD 593 as Lombard hordes surrounded a beleaguered Rome, Pope Gregory's exposition of Ezekiel overflows with concern for the preservation of the Church's spiritual life in difficult times. This is therefore necessarily a pedagogical work, a "curriculum"... Continue Reading