Gardening Teaches Humility and Prayer
March 15, 2017

“Do you think it is any less necessary to ask the gods for mercy where agricultural affairs are concerned? Sensible farmers, I can assure you, worship and pray to the gods about their fruits, grain, cattle, horses, sheep—yes, and all their property.” Xenophon, The Estate Manager Virgil speaks of it, and Cato, […]

Why Everyone Should Garden: a Series
March 8, 2017

“The Paterfamilias should think a long time about building, but planting is a thing not be thought about but done.” Cato the Elder, On Agriculture I have spoken to many people who have thought about gardening but who have not started to do so. That is why these words of Cato struck […]

The Path is Not Smooth For a Reason
March 1, 2017

“The Father himself Willed that the path of tillage be not smooth, And first ordained that skill should cultivate The land, by care sharpening the wits of mortals, Nor let his kingdom laze in torpid sloth.” Virgil, Georgics Why do things have to be so hard? Often I have wondered. Virgil paints […]

After We Married
February 22, 2017

“Out of [this relationship] between man and woman…the first thing to arise is the household…” Aristotle, Politics There turned out to be much more going on than we realized, in our love for one another. I fell in love with you, and you fell in love with me—albeit, a little later. But […]

Living These Relationships, Every Day
February 15, 2017

“Therefore, it is clear that the care of the household concerns human beings more than material property…” Aristotle, Politics “Here Aristotle infers that the chief aim of [parents] concerns these two relationships [with one another, and with their children] more than other things.” Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle’s Politics We might not […]

Saying Goodbye, Every day. A Letter to My Children
February 8, 2017

“The household is the association established by nature for the supply of men’s everyday wants…” Aristotle, Politics According to Aristotle, a household is that small community of people with whom, by nature’s design, we live every day. It is a community united by the simple and often mundane activities of daily life. […]

Reclaiming Manners at Table
February 1, 2017

“At table let mirth be with thee, let ribaldry be exiled…for at table it becometh not to be sad nor to make others sad. … Nothing should be blirted out at table that might diminish mirth. It is wrong to defame the character of those not present; nor should one’s personal sorrow […]

Reclaiming Manners between Men and Women
January 25, 2017

The latest in my series on Reclaiming Manners is an article I posted at The Catholic Gentleman, a reflection on this quotation: “The greatest man would justly be reckoned a brute if he were not civil to the meanest woman.” Martine’s Handbook of Etiquette (1866) Today’s article is HERE. How to Treat […]

Habits of the Father
January 18, 2017

“For as in cities laws have force, so in households do the injunctions and the habits of the father, and these have even more because of the tie of blood and the benefits he confers; for the children start with a natural affection and disposition to obey.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics As laws […]

Reclaiming Manners in Dress
January 11, 2017

“Wear not your clothes foul, ripped or dusty, but see that they be brushed once every day, at least, and take heed that you approach not to any uncleanness.” Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior* Common practice in dress has notably deteriorated. Many young people can hardly fathom more civilized customs of […]