Summer Poetry

But Then I Met Jesus By David Barton I sought pleasure, but pleasure didn’t satisfy. I courted riches and they impoverished me, Fame and it degraded me, Power and it corrupted me. I gave myself to charitable causes, But, despite … [Read more...]

“Why Do I Exist?”: The Unavoidable Wonderment

(Socrates) “Could anything great really come to pass in a short time? And isn’t the time from childhood to old age short when compared to the whole of time?” (Glaucon) “It is a mere nothing.” (Socrates) “Well, do you think that an immortal … [Read more...]

“Go Gaily in the Dark”

Epigraph From G.K. Chesterton’s The Ballad of the White Horse (words spoken by Mary, the Mother of God, to a sadly dispirited Alfred the Great): The men of the East may spell the stars, And times and triumphs mark. But the men signed … [Read more...]

Dean Koontz’s Odd Catholicism

When EWTN aired Raymond Arroyo’s first "World Over" television interview with Dean Koontz on October 18, 2012, many viewers were surprised to learn that the author of over a dozen #1 New York Times bestsellers is a practicing Catholic. The … [Read more...]

Dante, the World’s Second Greatest Poet

Sometime this month back in 1265, exactly 750 years ago, the World’s Second Greatest Poet was born in Florence, Dante Alighieri. Not many realize that Popes Benedict XV and Paul VI issued official Vatican statements lauding Dante for the … [Read more...]

Words Written on Ice and Wind

At the turn of the century, I graduated from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.  Armed with an MFA in creative writing, I set out to write the Great American Novel. I taught writing at the University of Central Florida in … [Read more...]

Spring Reading for March 2015

Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer. Leah Libresco (Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 2015) 192 pages; $12.12. (Reviewed by Fr. David C. Paternostro, SJ) --------- Master Thomas Aquinas and the Fullness … [Read more...]

The Holy Cross: A real life “Mockingjay” for Catholics

To me, the idea that ties the religious significance of this story together best is the “mockingjay.”  I find in the image of the mockingjay a clear and resounding symbol of the Cross of Jesus Christ.    The popular trilogy of novels … [Read more...]

Liberal education and the priesthood

“Like all great churches, that are not mere store-houses of theology, Chartres expressed, besides whatever else it means, an emotion, the deepest man ever felt—the struggle of his own littleness to grasp the infinite. You may, if you like, … [Read more...]

The practice of excellence

“A man properly nurtured in poetry will quickly spot shoddy, poorly made works and ill-grown things, and his joy and aversion will be properly placed; he’ll approve beautiful things, joyfully take them into his soul, and from their nurture … [Read more...]

How American Catholicism Was

Once upon a time, before the priest scandals, Catholicism in Boston was rampant with good ol’ Irish “Cat’lics” who looked at religion as an extension of their everyday lives. Families were proud of the priests in their ranks, all went to … [Read more...]

Insight into Wilde’s soul

Distinguished classical scholar in his college days at Trinity College in Ireland; gifted poet, dramatist, and author of fairy tales like “The Selfish Giant” and “The Happy Prince”; famed wit, dandy, bon vivant, and sophisticated … [Read more...]

No Academic Grounds Are Safe

Rockhurst University’s two murder-mystery, academic novelists, Charles Kovich and Curtis Hancock, have teamed up to produce the second volume in their Father Dietrich Shrader series. We are not wrong to suspect that something both … [Read more...]

A big house for a small house

This masterpiece of philosophy and literary criticism epitomizes liberal education at its best and illuminates C.S. Lewis’s statement that Alexander Pope’s famous line, “The proper study of mankind is man,” needs correction: “The proper … [Read more...]

Four Priests of the Word

As long as human nature continues to be a bundle of tensions and contradictions, pining for truth and yet succumbing to pride, there will always be dissent in the Church. We therefore should expect some dissent and not despair when we see … [Read more...]