May 24, 2020

Nessie, the wonder dog, with a nose as keen as Sherlock’s Toby,  has introduced a new element into many mornings. One gets up, always a mixed blessing, walks out into the neighborhood, down to the dog park, always suspiciously green, and there she receives the command she eagerly awaits. “Go poop in the grass.” And she joyfully does. “Good dog, Nessie.” I say as the black bag on my hand scoops up the remains of the dog food we paid for… Read more

May 23, 2020

Times are tough, but not, Thank God, Depression Era tough. My grandparents lived through those hard times and anytime we had a “recession” would laugh, a little when younger people started making Depression comparisons. This was a time when you were glad to have some connection to the family farm so you could go to the country and get food. Food was cheap, but there was not enough cash to buy the food. Families would knock on the door and… Read more

May 22, 2020

XXI. Be attentive to your heart and watch your enemies, for they are cunning in their malice. In your heart be persuaded of this: it is impossible for a man to achieve good through evil means. That is why our Savior told us to be watchful, saying: ‘Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there are that find it (Matt. 7:14). Today the marvelous Nessie decided to do evil that good might… Read more

May 21, 2020

XVI. He who receives no help when at war should feel no confidence when at peace.* The External Crisis A crisis, a war or pandemic, tests the character of people. The pressure is high, routines that regulate our emotions are disrupted, and fearful events are happening to us and around us. There is a great temptation to save oneself. Worse, some will use a crisis to increase personal power at the expense of other people. We must look for helpers…. Read more

May 20, 2020

II. If you find yourself hating your fellow men and resist this hatred, and you see that it grows weak and withdraws, do not rejoice in your heart; for this withdrawal is a trick of the evil spirits. They are preparing a second attack worse than the first; they have left their troops behind the city and ordered them to remain there. If you go out to attack them, they will flee before you in weakness. But if your heart… Read more

May 19, 2020

Socrates waits to die. Athens has decided that he is a trouble maker, asking impertinent questions, arguing for the Good over against the gods of the Homer, refusing the exploitative educational practices of the day. Such men are often crucified by power, because they side with the poor and not the mob, the truth and not the credentialed, the good and not the priests. They are crazy with the inspiration of the good God. Socrates had to die. The rule-makers,… Read more

May 18, 2020

Once I knew a scholar who thought fiction was useless, poetry merely sentimental, and wished Plato had written plainly instead of using dialogues. A “myth” was just a false story and an ancient icon was “badly drawn.” This was a better scholar and person than I was, certainly at that time, and probably now, but there was something wrong in this particular opinion. We need poetry not just for our hearts, though that would be reason enough, but for our… Read more

May 17, 2020

Should you keep going to school? If you wish to teach at a college, in the humanities, should you try? What about the market? Any advice I give to anyone I do not know can only be generally true, so in the particulars dubious.  Anything can happen and nobody should simply give up on a dream due to the practical wisdom of the moment. God has done miracles and nothing I have done is the result of anything other than… Read more

May 16, 2020

Screens have changed a good bit, often for the better. This information is (almost surely) coming to you through a screen. My Bible study today came courtesy of Olive Tree, and could shift quickly from a text on the Hapsburg family to one on George B. McClellan thanks to screen time. Bravo for screens! And yet this pandemic has reminded me that too much of a good thing, even for excellent reasons, is too much. If we assume that there is nothing… Read more

May 15, 2020

Nessie came home. In the midst of the pandemic, we realized we were ready to get another dog. We missed, even the cat Athena may have missed, a canine companion. What to do? We are not fancy dog owners looking to show or breed. Nothing wrong with those excellent hobbies or jobs, but we just wanted a dog to walk, pet, and with whom to carry on endless conversations. As a result, we found a wonderful lady who fosters dogs… Read more

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