Feast of St Philip the Apostle
Marriage and Fertility: Engines for Faith
Following a survey of the secularization thesis, Eberstadt offers three chapters in defense of her “family factor” theory. She begins by arguing for empirical links among marriage, childbearing, and religiosity. Her argument begins with an article by W. Bradford Wilcox (“As the Family Goes,” First Things 173) in which he offers three reasons why church attendance is connected to... Continue Reading
Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Powers: Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel & Barachiel
Secularization Theory: Dead or Alive?
If the sociologist Jan Swyngedouw could look back from 1979 at the sheer volume of what had been written on secularization in the 1960s and 1970s and “find it difficult to suppress a certain feeling of ‘indigestion,’” what are we to conclude over five decades into the debate? Swyngedouw... Continue Reading
Feast of St Epimachus of Alexandria
AFTER 500 years, it’s worth reflecting on whether it was such a good idea, or not—this whole Reformation, that is. Or, to use the language of today’s Gospel reading: was the Reformation “wise—will Wisdom be justified by her deeds?” (Mt. 11.12-19).
To some extent, you could say it was necessary—the abuses were simply out of control. It was bound to happen one way, or another, whether... Continue Reading
Feast of Sts Cleopas and Artemas of the 70
FRIGID, fallow, the fainting, frosted earth
in silence sullen, souls of sylvan shorn;
wraiths and whispers upon now welter wastes
creep carefully out from crags and caverns.
Ancient arbors, by alien asters
luminous, by lore lyric leering lure,
issue imps in ire instructed idly.
Ghouls from gaps in Gaia’s greenish garment
emerge, ennobled evening ended,
vandals vicious, violence varied.
Beasts beguild,... Continue Reading
Feast of the Martyrs Zenobius & Zenobia
IN THE MIDDLE Ages, Halloween was known as All Hallow’s Eve. Though today a festival to celebrate the creepy, carnal, and calamitous, historically it was the vigil for All Saints Day (also called All Hallows). On All Hallow’s Eve, the local parish church would hold a vigil and then process to the local cemetery to offer prayers on behalf of the departed. On... Continue Reading
Feast of Carpus, Papylus, Agathodorus, & Agathonica, the Martyrs of Pergamus
POPULAR music during World War I served to rouse the troops, comfort the grieving, and encourage patriotic spirit. Several classical composers served in the British armed forces during the war and their works reflected their experience, as did the works of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and poets like Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, subjects of this... Continue Reading
Feast of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas
THE TWENTIETH century was the bloodiest century in human history. It was characterized by two world wars, which killed collectively between 70-100 million people, and a cold war which potentially could have killed many more people than the two world wars combined. The members of the Inklings, including J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, lived through all three of these... Continue Reading
Feast of St Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury
SOMEDAY I shall be a great saint—like those you see in the windows of magnificent cathedrals. I will have a soul made of sunlight and skin as clear as the stained glass panels that make their skin, and I will shine like they do now—I will shine with the glory that comes over those who rise up early and seek the... Continue Reading
Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross
THE ONLY thing worse than a joke you don’t get is the explanation that is bound to follow: an explanation that, while it may help you see why you should have seen the humor that you so lamely missed, is little likely to make you laugh. It may provoke you to muster a sympathy snicker so as to avoid more of an already... Continue Reading
Feast of St Sozon the Martyr
OUR LATEST Presidential election cycle, and the subsequent media coverage of President Donald Trump, led me to think more deeply about my political beliefs and principles. I have discussed politics with trusted friends and reflected on my own thoughts more than ever. I want to offer you a powerful quote shared with me by one of my closest friends, Deacon Rico Paul Monge. Deacon... Continue Reading