The Hero Always Comes Home

We should be reluctant to divide things that are not divided.  Or, if we are to divide things, we do so in a way that allows them to be reunited so as to be more fruitful.  God, for example, “divides” Eve from the side of Adam, but then brings them together into...

The Manliness of Leisure

Jesus reveals that true manhood loses itself for the beloved.  But what if we don’t see others as exactly loveable, let alone “beloved”?  If you are having trouble really loving, perhaps you’re having trouble seeing.  We look at humanity and the humans that make it up...

In Praise of Catholic Homesteading

When the Papacy is vacant the whole Church looks longingly for a puff of smoke from a little chimney – the household of the Church feels lonely without Papa.   When it comes we rejoice, because our father has come home. When I see puffs of smoke from a little...

Celebrate the Ember Days

History of the Ember Days The Ember Days, which were historically kept four times during the liturgical year, have a venerable history. Here is the explanation from the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia. The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by...

The Spirit of the Machine vs. The Spirit of Truth

I recently hosted a retreat with 30+ college students at my farm.  These young men spent a week in work, prayer, and rest, with an intentional focus on building Christian brotherhood and character.  Because so few had experienced work their new callouses bled and...

The Fact of Food: Eating as the Basis of Culture

Something has gone wrong with our culture, or at least it seems that way by how many people make a living criticizing it, trying to fix it, or checking out of it altogether.  That last one is impossible, but it makes a good story.  Just consider how many institutes,...

Tending Trees When the Church is Dark

In Wendell Berry’s book The Unsettling of America he has a short but powerful little commentary on The Odyssey. He’s describing the disarray of Ithaca, Odysseus’s home and kingdom. With Odysseus gone for so long, there are men eating up the stores of food, with...

How work brings meaning back to Family Life

Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo is often called the beginning of contemporary Catholic social teaching because it was the first encyclical to deal with the unprecedented disruptions of traditional societal order due to the industrial revolution.  For fathers, Rerum is one of...