September 17, 2018

Everyone                God knows we need some kindness not now, not niceness, not weakness, but kindness. We should be kind, because everyone is fighting a hard battle. We should judge as little as possible, since nobody is righteous. We should show mercy as we would receive mercy. These are great ideas and over the course of my life many great ideas have been introduced to me by Plato. About once a month someone posts that… Read more

September 16, 2018

Patience is powerful and persuasive. Prince Albert grew in power under his wife Queen Victoria as he patiently waited for her to decide what his role should be. He was patient, loving, and decent, a persuasive combination. Albert ended up in one of the great love matches of the nineteenth century and helped preserve Britain as a stable constitutional monarchy in very unstable time. That’s the persuasive power of patience. Our guide in cultivating the virtues through literature, Karen Swallow Prior… Read more

September 15, 2018

Narnia. Middle Earth. Prydain. Over Sea and Under Stone. I loved them all as a boy, but except for Narnia, I read nothing as often as Pilgrim’s Progress. A good Saturday was spent mapping out the journey of Christiana and her children heading to the Celestial City. Just as Nancy Drew was much better than the Hardy Boys, so Christiana and her adventures were more excellent than the original with Christian. In this, I was in the global minority as our… Read more

September 14, 2018

Jane Eyre and my wife taught me chastity in my twenties. God knows I wish I had learned earlier. Karen Swallow Prior (KSP) arrives to help deepen what I know and (hopefully) to help others learn earlier what I learned later. After all, I must pray “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” and keep learning. One part of the mercy of God is that he sends others to help where we are weak. There is a… Read more

September 13, 2018

A home is to HGTV as a lady-wife is to a photoshop of a woman. The first is an ideal to which one might aspire, the second is a sales pitch for a product to consume. Making people a product is a great way to be miserable and a bad person. Kant built an ethics on the idea that people are ends, not means to ends. Tolstoy supported a similar idea creating stories, a virtual reality training program for virtue. A… Read more

September 12, 2018

Gentlereader, I married Hope. As a result, I end up writing about hope (the virtue) a great deal. This is not just for the purpose of Husband Humor (a genre of jokes no greater than Dad Humor), but because I particularly need hope. Hope is the virtue that is God’s greatest gift to those who are depressed. Things are not better now, but someday. The promise of paradise is hopeful. If you are often sad, then you should have hope with… Read more

September 11, 2018

Faith is the divine virtue expanding our vision of everything. For those of us who have failed, faith is the substance that disappointed hope finds that helps us live. Faith is rational, passionate, and experiential. Faith moves us to study, love even our enemies, and do works of charity.  Silence by Shusaku Endo is a piercingly difficult book about faith: difficult to understand, hard on the emotions, and stirring to be a better person. If asked if I agree with Endo’s vision… Read more

September 10, 2018

The best professors make you see in a new way, consider again old opinions you thought settled. Mark Twain blasts his ideas about reality in such an obvious way, while posturing as transgresssive, and yet was treated reverently by his  contemporaries. He hated Victorian values so much he got rich making fun of them and other than his remarkable Joan of Arc, his work and especially his humor is often as predictable as Internet atheist memes. And yet Leo Tolstoy also postured… Read more

September 9, 2018

Justice with Mercy When I was a boy I saw a slogan that stuck with me: “No justice, no peace.” That was true and as I got old the truth kept growing. Justice with mercy (God have mercy!) is the way to peace: “Know justice, know peace.” My own unjust acts were made real to me partly through reading as great books showed me where I missed the mark. What is justice? Republic is one place where I keep finding part… Read more

September 8, 2018

Temperance, that great virtue, amounted to not drinking alcohol to the progressives and that is (almost) unforgivable. That the early Progressive Movement also delivered votes for women makes the Prohibition Ammendment a forgivable error, but still shakes your confidence in the wisdom of other things they did such as the income tax. After all, the classical virtue temperance is so much more than not drinking to excess. Thank God Karen Swallow Price (KSP) has written a book to stir it up… Read more

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