SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
C C Pecknold

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April 19, 2019
Millions breathed a collective sigh of relief to learn that the relic of the crown of thorns was saved from Notre Dame de Paris. Where did it come from? “And the soldiers,” St John the Evangelist explains, “platted a crown of thorns, and put it on His head, and they clothed Him with a purple
April 18, 2019
The Last Supper is often likened to the Jewish Passover. The Synoptic Gospels suggest that it was on a Thursday evening at the start of Passover. The Gospel of John agrees that the Last Supper takes place on Thursday evening, however his chronology requires that the meal precede the Jewish Passover Feast (“before the feast
April 17, 2019
I am still moved by the sight of Notre Dame de Paris engulfed in flames during the most sacred week of the Christian year. The intense array of images and signs are too great to chalk up to mere accident. Yet it is a strange fact that many commentators argued about who had the best
April 16, 2019
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris was built out of stone and wood and glass without electricity or computers. It was not built by committee, or consultants or according to state regulations. It was built by a culture superior to our own. And we know it. Perhaps not everyone who has ever stood in awe of Notre
April 15, 2019
In the third part of Benedict XVI’s letter on the theological roots of the abuse crisis in the Church and in culture, he relates two different kinds of abuse. Benedict writes, “Let us consider this with regard to a central issue, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Our handling of the Eucharist can only arouse
April 12, 2019
The Athenian Academy began with that Socratic insight that in order to see the Final End, we must purify our lives through a philosophical form of life. This produced some of the greatest intellectual achievements of humanity. Yet the Athenian Academy ended skeptically with dogged disputes in which men eschewed truth to partake of “probabilities.”
April 11, 2019
What is at the root of the crisis which strikes so powerfully at the credibility of the Faith? We are all waiting for an answer to this question. And then a rare letter appears on our doorstep from an elderly bishop who once sat in Peter’s chair. Somehow hidden from our view, his voice is
April 10, 2019
A recent book about Thomas Merton highlights his illicit six-month affair with a young woman. Garry Wills calls the tryst between the fifty-one-year-old Trappist celebrity monk and the twenty-five-year-old woman an instance of “shallow calling to shallow.” Merton wrote from his “monastic solitude”: “I keep remembering her body, her nakedness, the day at Wygal’s, and
April 09, 2019
In February of last year, Ross Douthat penned a column about banning porn. It was a kind of feminist argument. “If you want better men by any standard, there is every reason to regard ubiquitous pornography as an obstacle — and to suspect that between virtual reality and creepy forms of customization, its influence is
April 08, 2019
In the Guardian, Yvonne Roberts writes about how grim the sexual revolution was. She was there, and describes the sexual permissiveness not as something liberating but something monstrous dressed up as “peace and love.” It was a dystopia that gave rise to a rape culture. But today she notes the marked decrease in sexual activity
April 05, 2019
My wife and I began the first six years of the 21st century in England. As Americans, we’d fallen in love with another country, with the customs and habits of people quite different from us, with the architectural layers of medieval towns like Cambridge where I had done my PhD, and where I was working
January 22, 2018
Unlike the March for Women, the pro-life movement remains remarkably bipartisan
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