The Boy Magdalen

It always tickled me that Oscar Wilde and Maria Goretti share a birthday. (It’s October 16, which makes them both Libras — horribly fitting when you consider how both of them, in their various ways, ended up in court.) The two make such a study in contrasts as to beggar the imagination: one sprawling, sensual [Read More...]

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The Perils of Self-Esteem

Imagine a nation’s armies have suffered the most catastrophic and humiliating defeat imaginable. Generals once thought to be geniuses prove themselves dimwitted, gouty time-servers. Troops expected to fight to the death panic and surrender in droves. The nation becomes the punch line in jokes that go, “I’ve got a great special on some _____ rifles: [Read More...]

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Save the Kitsch!

Fr. Jim Martin is a brave man. He has made a personal crusade of re-interpreting and revivng devotions and figures commonly dismissed as mawkish. In My Life with the Saints — and ever since — he’s argued heroically and convincingly that Thérèse of Lisieux was more than a sickly gamine with a flair for melodrama; [Read More...]

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