Thoughts from the “Tao Teh Ching” translated by the “Chinese Chesterton”

My Chinese Catholic friend, John C.H. Wu wrote several works that I have enjoyed reading over the past several years. I’ve shared posts with you from several of his books, namely Beyond East and West, The Science of Love, and Interior Carmel, the Threefold Way of Love. It is not for nothing that Frank Sheed called John “the Chinese Chesterton.” [Read more...]

Songs of Education, History (A Few Words for Wednesday)

G.K. Chesterton wrote poems too, and songs, of course. I found this neat little example of satirical verse that could become a quite compelling earworm, when set to a jaunty tune. This is a selection that can be found in Chesterton’s The Ballad of St. Barbara, And Other Verses. This one sounds like it could have come from the comedic masters of Monty Python. [Read more...]

Because Tradition says December 25 is When Christ was Born

And that is good enough for me. Especially because smarter, more capable, and more knowledgeable folks spell it all out for me too.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Christmas, Pagan Romans, and Frodo Baggins.

Jake Tawney: The Dating of Christmas.

Alexander Pope: Messiah

And, of course, Linus reciting the passage from St. Luke.

Isn’t Govert Teunisz Flinck’s painting, Angels Announcing the Birth to the Shepherds (1639, oil on wood) beautiful?

Be of good cheer!

UPDATE: Mike Flynn’s letter to the editor.

For All the Saints: John of the Cross

Today is the feast day of St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church. Born in 1542, he was a contemporary of St. Teresa of Avila and a practitioner of contemplative prayer. He is considered one of the foremost poets of Spain. And yet, it is said that he only wrote about 2500 lines of verse. He died on this date at the age of 49 in the year 1591. [Read more...]

Lines on Pride from Alexander Pope’s An Essay On Man

Often times cataclysmic events leave us at a loss. We have feelings and thoughts but struggle to put them into words. Some have been blessed with the gift of the poetic art. These painters of images with words serve to bring the ineffable into focus in our minds. [Read more...]

Because St. Ambrose Could Write Such A Hymn

Today is the Feast day commemorating Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan and one of the first four Doctors of the Church. The painting above depicts St. Ambrose with Emperor Theodosius of Rome. The reason they got together? The Emperor had ordered the massacre of 7,000 people in Thessalonica, and Ambrose demanded that he do public penance. [Read more...]

Hilaire Belloc Was A Lame Politician? Huzzah!

Preston Brooks, nephew of Senator Andrew Butler, confronts Senator Charles Sumner in the Senate chamber after debates on the Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1856

Someone left a comment on a previous post that Hilaire Belloc was not only a horrible singer (that’s what I had said) but that,

Nor could he do politics in an honourable way! [Read more...]

A Recording of Hilaire Belloc Singing His Poems


Or maybe he wrote them as songs in the first place? Have a listen and sing along. Lyrics of those that were published are available here: TarantellaHa’nacker Mill, The Islands (Cruise of the Nona), The Winged Horse. [Read more...]

“Martin of Tours” a Poem by Charles L. O’Donnell, C.S.C.

On this feast day of St. Martin of Tours, I came upon this delightful poem penned by Father Charles L. O’Donnell. It is an account of Martin’s charitable act of giving a beggar half of his cloak. As it turned out, Martin would have a dream that the beggar was in fact Our Lord. [Read more...]

The Loneliness of the Military Historian

A poem by Margaret Atwood.

Margaret Atwood

Confess: it’s my profession

that alarms you.

This is why few people ask me to dinner,

though Lord knows I don’t go out of my way to be scary.

I wear dresses of sensible cut

and unalarming shades of beige,

I smell of lavender and go to the hairdresser’s:

no prophetess mane of mine,

complete with snakes, will frighten the youngsters. [Read more...]