SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
David Mills

February 19, 2021
A Protestant pastor among my Facebook friends said he didn’t want to hear what anyone else was giving up for Lent. He was all for observing Lent, but he asked if people had forgotten Matthew 6. That’s the chapter in which Jesus tells people to act as if they weren’t fasting when they were. The
January 10, 2021
“We need to pray for our nation. We are in trouble,” Franklin Graham said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, posted before a mob encouraged by the president he has so faithfully served stormed the U.S. Capitol. “God’s judgment is coming, for the sins of our nation are great and they are a stench in
January 03, 2021
The minor pro-life leader John Rankin, who died on Christmas day, had a romantic idea of witness, but a more realistic and wiser view of politics than the mainstream leadership.  Someone you never heard of died on Christmas day. John Rankin was a pro-life leader deeply loved by the people who knew him, but one
December 23, 2020
Francis Cardinal Spellman made visiting the troops in the far east a Christmas tradition, but in 1966 he added to his work his endorsement of America’s goals in Vietnam, calling for “total victory.” Dorothy Day said he had dishonored God in denying the unity of man and the command to love one another. Christmas calls
November 21, 2020
She’s not truly pro-life. And she’s a bad Catholic to boot, and by her own standards. So say her critics. Several Facebook friends and others jumped on new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s joining the majority of the court in lifting a stay of execution for Orlando Hall. He’d been sentenced to death in
November 02, 2020
David Mills remembers Anne Barbeau Gardiner, an accomplished scholar and his old friend, “a person who was completely herself.”  “I bet you didn’t expect me to look so frumpy,” she said when we first met, and laughed, loudly and disconcertingly. I had been thinking that her dress seemed to be made out of drape material.
October 21, 2020
Some guys tried to rob five 7/11s near her house, reports my friend and Chapter House colleague Leticia Ochoa Adams. Apparently not competently, since they ran away twice before getting anything. My question is: How do we know this wasn’t Leticia dealing with deadlines? “I was looking for inspiration,” Leticia said. She shrugged only her
October 15, 2020
David Mills remembers his friend, the famous convert and prodigious writer, Thomas Howard. The popular and in some cases almost idolized Catholic writer Thomas Howard has died, at the age of eighty-five. The scion of a major American Evangelical family — his older sister being the Evangelical superstar Elizabeth Elliot — he went to the
September 17, 2020
Among the contrarians, the braggarts, the enraged and the furious, the libelous, the concerned with their furrowed brows, the people who want you on their side and the people who assume you’re the enemy, the wheedlers, the passive-aggressive, the misreaders (an especially annoying group), and all the other people who can turn a pleasant conversation
September 01, 2020
“Ultrasupernaturalism,” he would have called the book, if he thought his readers would let him get away with it. That’s the subject of Ronald Knox’s classic book, Enthusiasm. He explains the recurring problem of “a clique, an élite” who try to live a purer life in closer relation to the Holy Spirit than other Christians.
August 28, 2020
Probably the great majority of Americans who call themselves single-issue voters — those who treat the candidates’ views of abortion as the sole necessary criterion for voting for or against them — would vote Republican anyway. In other words, abortion is actually irrelevant to their politics. Those voters are among the Republicans’ strongest and most
August 19, 2020
Talking about almost any issue can mean talking about other people’s faults, at least by implication. You can have impersonal arguments about ideas or information. Once you move from the abstract to the application, and begin talking about things in which human beings choose how to act — as when you try to say what’s going
April 02, 2020
You drive up the hill, through the narrow streets and short blocks of a typical working-class neighbourhood in an old eastern city. At the top, backed up against the ridge, sits a grey stone church that boasts more relics than any church outside the Vatican: some 5,000 of them, all told. A wealthy Belgian doctor,
June 16, 2016
The Index of Prohibited Books has a bad reputation today. But even 21st-century secularists suppress ideas they consider dangerous
June 16, 2016
It’s like the movement against smoking. The authorities decide that they must keep people from smoking for their own good. Many would ban it if they could, but they can’t, so they require scary warnings on packages, don’t let anyone smoke in public places, prevent sales to minors, restrict advertising and raise the price with
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