A Letter from Wendell Berry

Feast of St Agathangelus the Martyr

Berry_Square_3.jpegI'VE WRITTEN Wendell Berry on a number of occasions. He has always responded. He has even graciously conveyed kind words about our publications: "I've been reading in the publications you sent me and improving my mind. Thank you."

The last time I wrote him, I invited him to speak at our sixth annual symposium. Here's an insightful snapshot of the explanation he gave for... Continue Reading

Material Religion: Christianity & the Veneration of Matter

Twelfth Day of Christmas and the Eve of the Theophany of Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ

Sophronius_Square.jpgCHRISTIANITY s a material religion. Everywhere you turn in the Christian tradition, the material world is adamantly affirmed. And every part of it plays a part in the cosmic worship of our Creator.

We see this throughout scripture. From the very beginning, in the creation account, God says His creation is “very good.”... Continue Reading

Toward a Christian Geo-Centrism

Eleventh Day of Christmas and Synaxis of the 70 Holy Apostles

PtolemySystem_Square.jpegTHE "OBJECTIVE VIEW” which we attempt to find through science and philosophy is not possible; consequently it falsifies whatever conclusions we derive from it. This is especially true in the contemplation of our own planet. If we seek a detached and objective vista from which to solve the ecological crisis, we have already failed. Detachment is death. Gathering data,... Continue Reading

Of Gardening, Wendell Berry, the Church & Sacraments

Tenth Day of Christmas and Feast of St Malachai the Prophet

Berry_Square_2.jpegAROUND SEVEN years ago, living in an apartment in Chicagoland, I read Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. Two weeks later it occurred to me to start a garden. Then it occurred to me that I might move home to Kansas.

My apartment-balcony garden failed. But the idea for the move home took root and flourished. Fewer than six months... Continue Reading

The Sacramentality of Scripture in St Cyril of Alexandria

Ninth Day of Christmas and Feast of St Sylvester, Pope of Rome and St Seraphim the Wonderworker of Sarov

Cyril_Alexandria_Square_2.jpgREJOICE exceedingly, daughter Zion, proclaim, daughter Jerusalem: lo, your king comes to you righteous and saving; he is gentle, riding on a beast of burden and young foal. ~Zechariah 9.9

“Obviously,” St. Cyril says, “in this he now proclaims the revelation of our Savior.” Is that so? Is it... Continue Reading

Creation Ex Nihilo & the Vicarious Humanity of Christ

Eighth Day of Christmas and Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and Feast of Sts Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian

Creation_Square_4.jpegCREATED LIFE does not generate itself. It is beholden to the One who is Life in himself. Humanity is first of all a creature that receives: “then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils... Continue Reading

Catechesis, Sacraments & the Mystery of Conversion

Seventh Day of Christmas and Feast of St Melania the Younger, Nun of Rome

christ-teaching_Square.jpegFOR SEVERAL years, I served as a catechist in Blessed Sacrament’s R.C.I.A. program. R.C.I.A. stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It is the program and process for bringing adults into the Catholic Church. In its purest form, the adults have never been baptized or catechized as Christians. The program and process combines both catechesis... Continue Reading

The Bloody Goat's Head: A Tale of Gift, Responsibility & Sacrifice

Sixth Day of Christmas and Feast of St Gideon the New Martyr of Mount Athos

Angora_Goat_Square.jpegIT HAD BEEN a glorious day thus far; one of those rare, bright July mornings when everything came off without a hitch. The tractor started like it was supposed to, the equipment ran like a dream, and I had managed to do everything the way Dad expected me to do. I was twelve. It was... Continue Reading

Cultivating Soil & Liturgy

Fifth Day of Christmas and Commemoration of the Holy Innocents, the 14,000 Infants Slain by Herod in Bethlehem

Virgil_Georgics_5th_c..jpgAS THE NEW year approaches and we begin once again to think about our annual report to Caesar in the guise of the IRS, my mind always turns to one of the more curious words that the early Church stole from the Greeks: liturgy. While it is easy today to understand how... Continue Reading

The Shedding of Blood

Fourth Day of Christmas and Feast of the 20,000 Martyrs Burned in Nicomedia

Elderslie_Farm_Square.jpgWHEN I was twelve I took life for the first time. A quail rising faster than a bottle rocket against the amber grass field was suddenly lifeless as the echo of my gun rang into the morning air. Some eighteen years later I take life in different forms nearly every day. But instead of a sport, it... Continue Reading