POETRY: The Fall Of Lucifer from Piers Plowman

August 16, 2016

Lucifer with his legions · learned it in Heaven, But because he obeyed not · his bliss he did lose, And fell from that fellowship · in a fiend’s likeness Into a deep dark hell · to dwell there for ever; And more thousands with him · than man could number Leapt out with Lucifer · in loathly form: For they believed in him · that lied in this manner— Ponam pedem in alquilone, et similis ero altissimo. And all that hoped it might be so · no Heaven might hold them; They fell out in fiend’s likeness · nine days together, Till God of his goodness · steadied and stayed Made the heavens to be shut · and stand so in quiet. When these wicked went out · wonderwise they fell; Some in air, some in earth · and some in deep [...]

SERMON: Men In White by Graeme Hotter

July 17, 2016

The other day I was listening to the radio in my car and heard an interview with a lady called Genelle Guzman-McMillan who was the last survivor pulled from one of the twin tower buildings. She had written a book that is called Angel in the Rubble which is all about the 27 hours she spent pinned under the tangled mess of steel and concrete. She wasn’t a Christian before the terrible event but she became one because of it. While trapped in the darkness she cried out to God time and time again. Just before the rescue crew got to her, a man came to her through the hole that her hand was stretched out in and said his name was Paul. He comforted her and placed his hands around her one outstretched hand that was free. When the rescue crew [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Stand Firm by Anthony Esolen

May 26, 2016

Or End Up on the Wrong Side of Eschatology From Touchstone One day, said Saint Jerome, the world awoke and groaned to find itself half Arian.  It was the reasonable position of the time, bearing all the marks of historical inevitability.  It shrugged away the most challenging points of Christology, for if Christ was but a creature, a Platonic demiurge, we need not puzzle our minds over how God might be both one and three.  We need not be stunned into reverence by the words, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” since the Word was, in a sense, already “flesh.” Arianism was an easy slide.  Most of the bishops leaned that way; it was the way of the well-stuffed.  But Athanasius rose up contra [...]

WISDOM: How Will I Know Truth When I See It? by Joan Chittister

July 6, 2015

From Welcome to the Wisdom of the World Monasteries are curious places.  To the occasional monastery-watcher, they can seem so uniform, so boringly organized.  Monastics, for the most part, live a common schedule, say a common set of prayers, live under a common Rule of life.  They eat together, live together, work together day after day for years and are formed together all their lives.  The inclination is to assume that monastic communities are one-dimensional places that spawn one-dimensional people.  Maybe, but not in any monastery I know, regardless of the tradition, however undifferentiated the group.  Not in my monastery for sure. In fact, I sat with a group of Eastern and Western monastics at an international meeting [...]

CHRISTIANITY: Is There Life After Truth? by Richard John Neuhaus

November 20, 2014

From The Veritas Forum at Yale University, 1996 It’s a great privilege to be here, and the earnestness and sense of expectation that I know marks this gathering, Lux et Veritas at Yale.  Lux et Veritas – “Light and Truth.”  I mean, they really narrowed the subject down, didn’t they?  You know, it’s this passion for specialization in the academy today, you know?  Nobody wants to take on a big question.  So we just got light and truth. Now, the title for my talk is “Is There Life After Truth?”  I didn’t want to keep you in suspense about this title; I wanted to answer the title question right away and say that, yes, there is life after truth, but it’s not a life that’s [...]

ART: God’s Truth Is Life by Christian Wiman

November 18, 2014

From Image When I was twenty years old I spent an afternoon with Howard Nemerov.  He was the first “famous” poet I had ever met, though I would later learn that he was deeply embittered by what he perceived to be a lack of respect from critics and other poets.  (I once heard Thom Gunn call him a “zombie.”)  My chief memories are of his great eagerness to nail down the time and place for his mid-day martini, him reciting “Animula” when I told him I loved Eliot, and asking me at one point – with what I now realize was great patience and kindness – what I was going to do when I graduated later that year.  I had no plans, no ambitions clear enough to recognize as such, no interest in any of the [...]

JESUS: Telling The Truth by Glen H. Stassen

November 17, 2014

From Living the Sermon on the Mount Vicious cycles like war and violence, dishonesty and manipulation, are what Jesus is diagnosing realistically in the Sermon on the Mount.  And he shows how God is doing something new in our lives: bringing God’s way of deliverance from these vicious cycles. This is, once again, not a matter of high ideals and hard teachings but of transformation and deliverance.  In a time of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons; terrorism; civil war; and ethnic cleansing, followers of Jesus have a gospel that the world badly needs.  We can receive and spread his gospel with joy. Traditional Righteousness: Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, “You shall not swear [...]