Good Time Charlies

Reading two books at the moment, for the same purpose, though it’s hard to see from the titles what they could possibly have in common. One is Charles Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast. I had started it years ago, then put it down; now I’ve gotten back into it

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Word of the Day: BEAUTY

Below, something I wrote from last year. At Thomas More College, every freshman enrolls in a course called The Way of Beauty, which I haven’t taught yet, and every sophomore, a course called Coram Angelis: In the Presence of the Angels, which I have just now taught for the first

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Oh, sure; blame celibacy

An Australian government commission has called for an end to clerical celibacy. Right. Because if the headlines of the last few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that celibacy is the main cause of sexual misconduct. If only politicians, Hollywood executives, comedians, and TV network personalities were allowed to marry! Oh,

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Advent is the restless season

Last week a spectacularly tasteless ad arrived in my In box, from a firm that promised me a brilliant new Christmas-gift idea. (If you read on, you’ll understand why I will not identify either the firm or the gift. This misbegotten idea will receive no publicity—not even negative publicity—from me.)

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The Colorado baker’s case: it’s not about gay rights

Pay attention to the language used in headlines about this week’s crucial argument before the Supreme Court. Reuters said it was a “gay wedding case.” The New York Times called it a gay rights case.” CNN reported a “same-sex marriage case.” And so on. All inaccurate. This case was not about gay rights or same-sex

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WORD OF THE DAY

Word of the Day: HEART “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover feast,” says Saint John, that eagle of evangelists, “many believed in his name when they saw the signs which he did; but Jesus did not trust himself to them, because he knew all men and needed

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Welcome to Word of the Day

Word of the Day: QUICK I’d like to post here a regular jeu d’esprit – taking the form of a glance at a word and its history. That’s because words open up to us some truths about man, the strange embodied spirit who invented the words in the first place.

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A priest’s #1 distraction at Mass—and how to avoid it

In the Memoriale of St. Pierre Favre (aka Peter Faber), I happened across this startling entry: During Mass on the day of St. Clare, I felt myself somewhat distracted by my desires; one was to edify those present, the other to obtain devotion for that purpose. In the past I have often

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The Pope’s silence on the Rohingya: prudent diplomacy or moral lapse?

During his stay in Myanmar, Pope Francis did not mention the brutal treatment of the Rohingya minority. Was that a mistake? Was it a failure of moral leadership? It’s not easy to answer those questions. The persecution of the Rohingya is, by all reliable accounts, a gross violation of human rights.

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Learning from the past of the American pro-life movement

Some 25 years ago, Our Sunday Visitor published my book, Operation Rescue: A Challenge to the Nation’s Conscience. To be perfectly candid, it was not a great commercial success. By the time the book appeared in print, the wave of civil disobedience that began in the 1980s had crested, and interest

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