Relating to a Deceased Parent
June 28, 2017

“It is natural that a father’s care for his son should endure to the end of his life.” Thomas Aquinas, SCG Bk III My mother is moving today from the house to which she and my father came over twenty-two years ago. I have been helping in the enormous job of packing, […]

What to Do This Summer
June 21, 2017

“And it was summer–warm, beautiful summer.” Hans Christian Andersen Making a household today often calls for being intentional. By being ‘intentional’ I mean making a conscious and regular effort to deliberate about how best to achieve an end. In an age when good customs embodied a passed-on wisdom, parents did not need […]

Playing in the Sand
June 7, 2017

“When I was down beside the sea A wooden spade they gave to me. To dig the sandy shore.” Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses They–whoever they were–clearly did this child a good turn. They brought him to a good place, and they gave him a good ‘toy’–if we call […]

Attentive Parenting, of Birds and Men
May 31, 2017

“Examples are found among certain species of birds whose young are not able to seek out food for themselves immediately after hatching. In fact, since a bird does not nourish its young with milk, made available by nature as it were, as occurs in the case of quadrupeds, but the bird must […]

Announcing Our Bethany Weekend
May 24, 2017

This August my wife and I are opening our home to offer a weekend getaway and workshop. It will be part study, part fellowship, part retreat. The theme is “Human Nature, Work, and Leisure.” Lectures, discussions, readings, and meals, surrounded by the other-worldly peace of our corner of the Shenandoah Valley. It […]

“One day it will please us to remember even this.” Virgil, The Aeneid Graduation is always poignant for me. It is especially so this year. This last weekend my eldest daughter graduated from Christendom College, where I am a professor of philosophy. I have taught her and her friends, among others, for […]

They’re Singing for You
May 10, 2017

“Nature does nothing in vain…” Aristotle It’s happening right outside our homes. The only question is: are we listening? The other day it was warm enough for me to sit outside for my morning quiet time. The symphony was simply amazing. Of course we cannot always stop and listen, since we often […]

When Your Livelihood Goes Up in Flames
May 3, 2017

Many events happen by chance, and events differing in importance; (now) if they turn out ill they crush and maim happiness; for they both bring pain with them and hinder many activities. Yet even in these nobility shines through, when a man bears with resignation many great misfortunes, not through insensibility to […]

Bird-Watching and Philosophy
April 26, 2017

“Animals differ from one another in their modes of subsistence, in their actions, in their habits, and in their parts.” Aristotle, The History of Animals Sometimes I am asked what I recommend to prepare young people for doing philosophy. There are of course different ways to dispose young minds for pursuing wisdom. […]

She Thought He Was a Gardener
April 19, 2017

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him…” John 20:15 This really struck me this Easter. According to the account of John, when Mary Magdalene turned away from the angels in the tomb, she saw a man […]