His light was always on – a tribute to Dr. Patrick Keats

There are certain people in our lives who we unconsciously come to expect will always be there. They are the ones who always have been there. The stable ones. The rock-like ones. The buttresses, who quietly go about the business of holding things together, without ever drawing attention to themselves. For the very many of us who …

Turns out ‘The Benedict Option’ is a hoax

I was a little mystified, having finished reading The Benedict Option (TBO), to discover not only that the book turns out to be in many respects an elaborate – albeit well-intentioned and probably evangelically useful – practical joke, but also that so few seem to have noticed that author Rod Dreher himself admits as much about halfway …

How to stop reading boring books to your kids, and learn to love bedtime

I’m told that a lot of parents don’t read to their kids because they find it tedious, boring. I’m not surprised. If the contents of the shelves of my local library are any indication, most children’s literature being produced nowadays is stiflingly banal, as insulting to the intelligence and sensibilities of the kids as to …

I dare you to read this life-changing book

“If you eat ketchup-smeared French fries with your fingers day after day, you are well on your way to the Cyclops.” John Senior – The Restoration of Christian Culture John Senior, the curmudgeonly but brilliant author of The Restoration of Christian Culture, did not like French Fries. Food is to be eaten with forks, not fingers, he reasoned, …

What nobody told me about having (a lot of) kids

An anecdote to start with: Sitting at the dinner table about four years ago, my then-3-year-old eldest son expostulating about what he’ll do when he grows up. He’ll build a tractor factory, he says, and inside the factory he’ll hang a massive sign, reading: “Daddy-time, all the time!” The psychologists would tell me that his …

For God’s Sake, Make Music

Every Sunday in Christ the King Chapel at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, the mass is celebrated with all the pomp and ceremony that the traditions of the Catholic Church and the humble means of that small college allow—glittering vestments, billowing incense, a liberal helping of Latin, and numerous grave-faced altar servers. And music. …

The Spark from Heaven: The Mystery of the Monastic Life

Thou waitest for the spark from heaven! And we,    Light half-believers of our casual creeds,            Who never deeply felt, nor clearly willed    Whose insight never has borne fruit in deeds,        Whose vague resolves never have been fulfill’d;            For whom each year we see    Breeds new beginnings, disappointments new;        …