The Grave Necessity of Superficial Things

Churchmen everywhere emptied out from their sermons such abhorrent things as doctrines and definitions, they got rid of “all that ritual nonsense” that the fast-moving modern couldn’t stomach – in short, they tried to bring back the common man by meeting him halfway. What they actually did was to confirm him in his skepticism by offering a second-rate relativism which neither satisfied his taste for fashion nor reignited in him an actual love for truth. Religion, it seemed, capitulated to the fads of the world.

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God, Water & Gratitude

“You go to Taco Bell, and if you don’t want a Coke, you want ‘just water.’ Just water? JUST water?! It’s the whole reason you’re alive, but it’s free, so you treat it like it’s nothing!”
My friend was on to something.

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Homeschool, Screenschool, Noschool

Today’s first lesson is that no such construct as “homeschool” exists, either as a noun or as a verb. When your father taught you hunting safety he did not homeschool you; he taught you. If your sixth-grade teacher taught you not to spit tobacco into the classroom litter basket because your parents failed in their duty of teaching basic hygiene, manners, and dignity, he did not schoolhome you.

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Kristin Hannah’s Winter Garden, Sort Of

James Lee mentioned that he really liked Kristin Hannah’s novels, which I pooh-poohed as chick-lit. He assured me that they are really good, and that with my love of Russian literature I would appreciate Winter Garden, parts of which are set in Leningrad…

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Yevgeny Yevtushenko Admires Himself

Recently I finished a book only half-remembered from my youth, Yevtushenko’s A Precocious Autobiography. I had no idea that a poet I had long admired was such a phony.

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Christmas Spirit

Where has the love gone, the magic that everyone associated with Christmas? Is it because we insist that the world should be devoid of the love that Jesus Christ brings in the manger, that it should be devoid of the wonder and magic that Santa Claus brings down every chimney?

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Midnight Mass Christmas Eve

All around lays a gentle silence, as if the world is holding its breath in anticipation of a momentous occasion. In sharp contrast to the silence, cold, and darkness is a church all aglow with the light of several candles as voices raise in joyous song. Jesus Christ has been born!

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Peace on Earth

What is it about Christmas music that can steer our emotions so effectively? Sure, all music can do this, but I feel it most deeply with Christmas music…

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“I Had a Lover’s Quarrel with the World”

Mr. Frost crafts smooth, flowing iambic tetrameter and iambic pentameter, sometimes rhyming but sometimes not. That he makes rhyme work so well demonstrates the excellence of his art; there are only five – arguably six – vowel sounds in English, which rhymed through the pen or keyboard of a learner usually ends in clunkiness or unintended comedy.

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Ave Maria

“Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee”. Thus begins one of the most well-known, and possibly most debated, prayers in the history of the Church.

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A Witch and Equality

I was thinking about Monty Python and the Holy Grail in all its ridiculous glory when I realized that similar skewed logic is used all the time in the real world, as if it were true logic. The conclusion seems sure before the argument, and as often as not, it is to the detriment of others.

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Tolkien: A Review of a Book and a Movie

J.R.R. Tolkien, a Biography by Humphrey Carpenter is a nice little biography for those who love Tolkien and the Inklings. Humphrey Carpenter’s several biographies are always well-researched and, even when alluding to awkward moments in the subjects’ lives, infinitely kind and generous.

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You Shut Up! No, You Shut up! No, You Shut Up First!

Censorship is the control of public speech by a government agency; it has always existed and always will. Even the freest government cannot allow state secrets to be published. Censorship, when kept in its legal place, is good; when it is not kept in its legal place, it is bad.

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Christ in the Eucharist

Once upon a time, a great king wanted to send his son to live among his people to save them from their wretched ways. First, he chose a woman to care for his child, and then he chose a man to take of them both. They were the poorest of the poor, but the purest to be found anywhere.

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Journey Through Roses and Thorns

Have you ever rooted for a character, wishing you could be there to help them in the hard times and to rejoice with them in the good times? We always give that treatment to characters we love, sometimes even the ones we don’t always like, and for good reason.

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The Darkness in Harry Potter’s World

I eventually watched the movies. That’s when things really started to bother me. What was it with these movies and showing a colorless world? It irked me to no end for I truly enjoy a good splash of color.

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Tolkien, Lewis & the Saints

Have you ever wondered where they got the names for some of their characters, or how close they were, if they didn’t know, to their own faith? There was bound to be some similarities, but I’ll bet you didn’t know that many of their characters were named after saints, whether intentionally or not.

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