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All twelve days

“Therefore your end is on you, Is on you and your kings, Not for a fire in Ely fen, Not that your gods are nine or ten, But because it is only Christian men Guard even heathen things. "For our God hath blessed creation, Calling it good. I know What spirit with whom you blindly band Hath blessed destruction with his hand; Yet by God’s death the stars shall stand And the small apples grow.” G. K. Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse Many of the traditions that are associated with ... (Continue reading)



“What can go wrong?” I asked, “the book says it is safe, and it shows a picture of the thing. Listen! It says right here that there are no poisonous puffballs, and this is a puffball.” We had found some puffballs in the field behind our house, large round mushrooms about the size of a fist or a bit bigger, and I insisted against my wife’s pleading that we not have them for supper. Mushrooms are funny things, and mushroom books are even funnier. ... (Continue reading)

The duty to defend

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!’’ But it’s “Saviour of ’is country,’’ when the guns begin to shoot; Yes it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please; But Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool—you bet that Tommy sees! - Rudyard Kipling, 1892 Pacifism is a religious version of a wolf in sheep’s clothing; a mockery of the obligation to labour for peace in the world; a caricature of that zeal for peace that is ... (Continue reading)

But for the grace of God

Pickwick Papers

Every Christmas my family and I read aloud Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. And every Christmas we thoroughly enjoy it and are impressed with how applicable it is to the world today—maybe even more so than when it was written. I guess it is like how I imagine really good wine that gets better with age to be (I have to rely on supposition because the family purse will not allow for gustatory examination). However, another ... (Continue reading)

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Not on the level

Not on the level

True, he was taken up for a common drunk, but (if you properly appreciate his conversion) you will realize that he did not mind; since the crime of drunkenness is infinitely less than that of spiritual pride, of which he had really been guilty. - The Modern Scrooge, G. K. Chesterton When we moved into our old house, there were lots of things that needed to be fixed. Some repairs were urgent: we ran out of water the first week, so we ... (Continue reading)

Homesick at Home

He looked at the dandelions and crickets and realized that he was gigantic. We are too fond of reckoning by mountains, every object is infinitely vast as well as infinitely small. He stretched himself like one crucified in an uncontainable greatness. “Oh God, who hast made me and all things, hear four songs of praise. One for my feet that Thou hast made strong and light upon Thy daisies. One for my head, which Thou hast lifted and crowned above the four corners ... (Continue reading)

Teaching kids Latin

Whenever the census in Canada rolls round, I suspect that I am one of the few people who, in the box where one reports languages spoken in the home, must honestly write Latin. Since the birth of my first of four sons seven years ago, I have spoken almost entirely in Latin to them. Why? Not because I am passing on a family tradition. I grew up speaking English. I began learning Latin when I was seventeen. That year I entered ... (Continue reading)

With courage and charity

In 1993, when I was a young married man with a growing family, I received a magazine in the mail as a gift from Paul Morgan of the Peterborough Pro-Life Association—the first issue of Catholic Insight. This issue had articles on the media and the US election of the pro-abortion president Clinton, a selection from Pope John Paul II, and an editorial by the founding editor, Fr. de Valk, with associate editors David Dooley and Fr. Stephen Somerville. They wrote:... (Continue reading)

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