On one level, the book can be read as a dialogue about the active versus the contemplative life.
THE CREATIVE LIFE
MARIA SIBYLLA MERIAN, SCIENTIST AND ARTIST
Read up on this amazing 17th-c. caterpillar obsessive, butterfly aficianado, explorer and artist!
REHABILITATING ST. THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX
In this culture of perpetual aggrievement, could it be that we’ve been missing the message that’s right in front of our faces?
EVERYTHING PROFOUND, PART III
“Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’” mountaineer John Muir once asked an interviewer. “It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’”
EVERYTHING PROFOUND: PART II
The notion that “enlightenment” consists in 24/7 calm, in short, had never sat well with me. True, Christ curled up in the back of the boat during a storm and took a nap—but that wasn’t impassivity; it was trust.
EVERYTHING PROFOUND MOVES FORWARD IN DISGUISE: PART I
As the Italian novelist and poet Cesare Pavese observed: “Religion is the belief that everything that happens to us is extraordinarily important.”
PILGRIMAGE TO THE MUSEUM
Auth finds much to like in Realism, Impressionism, and modern art. He gives a fair read to Picasso, Seurat, Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock. He celebrates Salvador Dali’s 1954 “Crucifixion,” which depicts an ascendant, cosmic Christ.
But he’s also clear that the soul searching for God finds little sustenance in art grounded in atheism and secularism.
GIVEAWAY! Read FAMISHED, my food memoir with recipes, for free, right on this site!!
DEATHSONG: MEDIEVAL CHANT WITH DR. ELAINE STRATTON HILD
Dr. Hild’s fervent wish is that we might all come to play music, chant, or sing around the bedside of our dying loved ones.
THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
“To be sure, man’s search for meaning and values may arouse inner tension rather than inner equilibrium. However, precisely this tension is an indispensable prerequisite of mental health.”
PIANIST MARIA YUDINA: HOLY FOOL
“Yudina was a strange person, and very much a loner.” “Strange things kept happening to her.” “Yudina saw music in a mystical light. For instance, she saw Bach’s Goldberg Variations as a series of illustrations to the Holy Bible,” Shostakovich observed. “She always played as though she were giving a sermon.”
THE FREEDOM TO DO GOOD
We’ve heard a lot about freedom these past weeks, but the only real freedom, it seems to me, is the freedom to do good. That is a freedom that can neither be granted, nor revoked, by any government, political body, or man-made law.
MY FAMOUS BROTHER JOE
My brother Joe is a 40-year veteran of the punk scene and frontman for The Queers.
We had a long zoom chat the other day, yukking it up about our childhoods on the NH coast, reminisching about our drinking years, and and giving thanks for having followed our respective callings. Watch it on YouTube!
INSIDE MADONNA HOUSE’S LAY COMMUNITY OF LOVE
I visited the house in Combermere several years ago and was awed by the community’s self-sufficiency. They grow or raise almost all of their own food. St. Benedict’s Acres, the community farm, boasts vegetable beds, cows, chickens, and sheep whose wool is sheared, cleaned, dyed, spun, woven and knit into products for gift shops.