Giving Up Poetry for Lent: Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Quest for Perfection

For the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, the year 1866 was marked by introspection and transformation.  On January 18, 1866, he composed his poem The Habit of Perfection, which hailed the virtue of ascetism.  Five days later, on January 23, he included poetry in a list of things he planned to give up for Lent.  And by July, against the wishes of his family, he had decided to leave his native Anglicanism for the Catholic Church.That September, he traveled to Birmingham to consult with John … [Read more...]

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A Tribute to the Jesuits on Their Feast Day

On July 31, the Society of Jesus marks the 456th anniversary of the death of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.  Born into a wealthy Basque family, Ignatius of Loyola (1491 – July 31, 1556) was a Spanish knight; but he was seriously wounded in the Battle of Pamplona in 1521.  During his long recovery, he experienced a spiritual awakening and was led to abandon his military career and devote himself to labor for God, following the example of St. Francis of Assisi.At the shrine of … [Read more...]

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