Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler

The historical origins of Mardi Gras are much debated, but many of its traditions seem to have their roots in early Celtic Christian rituals in ancient Gaul, Ireland, and Scotland—which, in turn, seem to have even earlier Greek and Egyptian antecedents.Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a celebration of life’s excesses before the austere self-sacrifices of the Christian season of …

Stranger than Fiction. Way, Way Stranger.

According to Facebook, that iridescent, omnipresent gay rainbow none of us seem to be able to escape these days (even on sports radio, the NFL Network, or NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage) now boasts more than fifty shades of ummm, different. The social-networking behemoth’s 1.2 billion users can now customize their profile “gender” to something more granular than the two previous—and …

Heart Work

“Heart-work is hard work indeed. To shuffle over religious duties with a loose and careless spirit, will cost no great difficulties; but to set yourself before the Lord, and to tie up your loose and vain thoughts to a constant and serious attendance upon Him: this will cost you something. To attain ease and dexterity of language in prayer and …

Chesterton’s “The Wise Men”

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was a man of extraordinary wit, intellect, and insight. He was a prolific writer who engaged the leading intellectuals of his time in debates, always defending the cause of orthodoxy. It was his good and affable nature that made his adversaries also his friends. Chesterton was a master of conveying truth through paradox, and this poignant and …

“The Whip of Advent” by Tristan Gylberd

 The pitch of the stall was glorious Though the straw was dusty and old Though it blew bitter and cold The wind sang with orchestral beauty The night was mysteriously gleaming Though the earth was fallen, forlorn For under the eaves of splendor A child-The Child-was born Oxen Sheep and doves Crowded round Nativity’s scene Though the world still failed …

Martinmas

Martin of Tours was a bishop who was martyred on this day in 397.  Also on this day in 655, Martin of Umbria was martyred during the great Monothelite controversy.  Both men demonstrated perseverance in the face of political persecution, personal humiliation, torture, starvation, and eventually, death, made them models of faith during the early medieval period.   According to legend, …

The Source of Liberty

“Can the liberties of anyone or any people or any nation be secure, when we have removed the conviction that those liberties are the gift of God?” Thomas Jefferson

Doublethink and Doublespeak

In his brilliant dystopian novel, 1984, George Orwell perfectly and presciently described the kind of doublethink and doublespeak we have now come to expect of our modern politicians:“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them, to tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and …

Not Just Passing Through

“Humanity does not pass through phases as a train passes through a station: being alive, it has the privilege of always moving yet never leaving anything behind.” C.S. Lewis

The Democracy of the Dead

“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.” G.K. Chesterton