Post Christmas Blues?
January 10, 2018

“Origen contended that the naming of specific holy days was done only for the sake of the ‘unitiated’ and ‘beginners’ who were not yet capable of celebrating the ‘eternal festival’.” Josef Pieper, In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity I always find re-entry a bit difficult. It’s not that the […]

Being Intentional in the New Year
January 3, 2018

“Men will be good or bad builders as a result of building well or badly… Thus, in one word, states of character arise out of like activities. This is why the activities we exhibit must be of a certain kind…” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics The activities we perform must be of a certain […]

Learning How to Have a Good Time Together
December 27, 2017

“What is a good time? Does anything of the sort exist?” Josef Pieper “The trick is not to arrange a festival, but to find people who can enjoy it.” Friedrich Nietzsche The time we spend with loved ones during Christmastide can be downright discouraging. People get frustrated, tempers flare over small things, […]

Remembering Deceased Loved Ones at Christmas
December 20, 2017

“I recall now two of my friends, who although no longer among the living are still alive for me and always will be.” Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship People die. This is one of the thorniest problems in the philosophy of friendship, as in the philosophy of human life itself. Perhaps the […]

Physical Training, for the Soul
December 13, 2017

“He’ll work at physical exercises in order to arouse the spirited part of his nature, rather than to acquire the physical strength for which other athletes diet and labor. It looks as though they [the wise] established both [higher studies, and physical training] for the sake of the soul.” Plato, Republic For […]

Boys, and Their Names
December 6, 2017

“What’s in a name?” William Shakespeare I think I now have confidence that it is not just me. There is something about boys and their names. When I was little I would look for places to write my name. In fact even just the first letter, inscribed the best I could, was […]

Intentional Friendship
November 29, 2017

“In choosing and testing friends you should not grow weary of caution, for the fruit of this labor is medicine for life and the most solid foundation for immortality.” Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship In his great treatise Aelred names four steps of true friendship. The first two, on which he focuses […]

Telling Stories at Thanksgiving
November 22, 2017

“Come, rather,” then she said, “dear guest, and tell us From the beginning the Greek stratagems…” The room fell silent, and all eyes were on him, As Father Aeneas from his high couch began… Virgil, The Aeneid Each of us has stories: the stories that are chapters of our life. To hear […]

Doing Something about the Technology Problem
November 15, 2017

“Technology enchants; it makes us forget what we know about life. The new—any old new—becomes confused with progress.” “When we move from conversation to mere connection, we get a lot of unintended consequences.” Sherri Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age I know many of us have been […]

Noticing Your Own Child
November 8, 2017

“Something being one’s own and being loved are the two things that most cause human beings to take diligent care.” Aristotle, Politics It was in a sermon I heard this past weekend. In describing a holy young man the priest said: “And already at that age, he noticed the poor.” He then […]