When Winning Is Everything

WinningDominic

In the wake — or, I fear, in the eye — of this week’s mind-boggling sports storm, Iván Fernández Anaya’s story was exactly what I needed to see (HT: Dreher and Mills): As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the [Read More...]

The Overview Effect

BlueMarble

View image | gettyimages.com “When we look down at the Earth from space we see this amazing, indescribably beautiful planet – it looks like a living, breathing organism. But it also, at the same time, looks extremely fragile.” – Ron Garan Despite the fabulously futuristic  (and costly) efforts of Richard Branson and Friends,  the Overview [Read More...]

Bruised Once More ‘Gainst the Wood of the Cross

FlightintoEgyptbyMerson

They scarcely waked before they slept, They scarcely wept before they laughed; They drank indeed death’s bitter draught, But all its bitterest dregs were kept And drained by Mothers while they wept. – Christina Rossetti I’ve been at this Cradle Catholic gig for nearly 35 years, so you’d think I’d have learned a thing or two [Read More...]

Music and Meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

JosephSeeksLodgingbyTissot

It’s one of those “Fourth Week, we hardly knew ye” years, where Week Four of Advent feels more like a vestigial than a full-blown liturgical event. But two days is more than enough to highlight some of the memorable melodic edifices built upon today’s introit: “Rorate Coeli Desuper.” Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant justum: aperiatur [Read More...]

Peter Jackson Misses the Point

GandalfRadagast

This past weekend, I joined millions of moviegoers around the globe in what will doubtless become a Christmas tradition (whether we like it or not): I Hobbited. Having now experienced Peter Jackson’s latest extravaganza for myself, I can safely say that I have very little to add to the critical consensus. The film features many of the visual and [Read More...]

A Little Knüppel Music

EmmettChapman

A friend of mine, well-aware of my love for both classical music and the bizarre, recently passed along this fantastic YouTube video. It’s a fellow performing Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata in F minor (K.386) on a Chapman Stick. My first reaction (and I quote): “What the heck is that thing?” Described by its living creator — how [Read More...]

Music and Meditation for the Third Sunday of Advent

BruegelCensus

In the wake of Friday’s tragedy, today’s call to “Rejoice” is a difficult one. But as Deacon Greg reminds us, even that call is shot through with the promise of suffering: “The Lord is near.” He knows what it’s like. And He knows what we need: hope.  And He has given it to us. The [Read More...]

The Pageless, Pagetless Sherlock

CropSherlock6

As readers of my “Lens” columns may remember, I am a devout Holmesian. I am also a proud iPad owner, and I love free things. (Yes, I’m American.) Yet I find myself strangely unsettled by today’s “Open Culture” post: The Complete Sherlock Holmes Now Free on the Kindle: It’s surely worth giving you the quick heads up that, [Read More...]

Why #AskPontifex Anything At All?

Benedito

“Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” Pope Benedict XVI’s much-anticipated arrival in the Twitterverse this morning caused quite a commotion.  And there is doubtless a great deal more to be said in the coming [Read More...]

Monteverdi’s Marian Love Letter

Claudio_Monteverdi

Over at my old stomping grounds, the incomparable Robert Reilly just reminded me of something that has confounded me for years: I love Monteverdi’s Vespers. “Why confounding,” you ask? Because despite my relatively large musical sweet spot, I have always struggled to enjoy (or even to appreciate) Renaissance music. When confronted by a friend a few [Read More...]


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