Not Missing the Sacramental Journey: Hilaire Belloc’s “The Four Men”


"And I said to myself , inside my own mind: 'What are you doing? You are upon some business that takes you far, not even for ambition or for adventure, but only to earn. And you will cross the sea and earn your money, and you will come back and spend more than you have earned. But all the while your life runs past you like a river, and the things that are of moment to men you do not heed at all.'" - Hilaire Belloc, in "The Four Men"     And so the journey began. In the brilliant tale, "The F … [Read more...]

G.K. Chesterton & The Impotence of Nightmares


 "It is not always wrong even to go, like Dante, to the brink of the lowest promontory and look down at hell. It is when you look up at hell that a serious miscalculation has probably been made." - G.K. ChestertonIt was simply an essay written for the Daily News. It really could have been routine. Yet nothing G.K. Chesterton ever wrote was "routine". This essay was terrifying. It was called, "The Nightmare". It was dusk and Chesterton found himself reading in the garden behind his … [Read more...]

Telling Beads (Hilaire Belloc, the Rosary & Me)


 "Gentlemen, I am a Catholic. As far as possible, I go to Mass every day. This [taking a rosary  from his pocket] is a rosary. As far as possible, I kneel down and tell these beads every day. If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that He has spared me the indignity of being your representative." - Hilaire Belloc, 1906 speech in SalfordIt was a calculated risk, to be sure. A man of French origins campaigning for British office. A man of Catholic devotion … [Read more...]

St.Thomas More, The Little Sisters of the Poor & the Casualness of Conscience


The Duke of Norfolk: "Oh confound all this. I'm not a scholar, I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not but - dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can't you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!" Thomas More: "And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?" - From Robert Bolt's play, A Man For All Seasons"Why can't you do as I did, Thomas, and come with us?" I … [Read more...]

The Tiresome Fad of Giant-Killing


After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he … [Read more...]

Regarding My Wife and Peyton Manning

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 Pause. There was a pause. My wife may deny it, but it was there. Oh, it was there. Our six year-old daughter had just asked my wife a very important question. To provide a little background, my daughter is a fledgling football fan. Mind you, she is also a baseball fan, tennis fan, golf fan, soccer fan, NCAA basketball fan, and Olympic sports fan. She has even begun to get that rabid inquisitiveness and that nervous pace when one of these competitions is on TV. Where did she learn it … [Read more...]