The Story God Is Telling at the Present Time

Something that should comfort every Christian disturbed by the distressing events of our day: The story of human history has already been written in the mind of God, and it has a happy ending. As bit characters who come in near the end of the story, our job is simply to live the roles that God has assigned us and to trust that all will come right in the end.Continue readingThe Story God Is Telling at the Present Time

Books Can (Help) Save Our Dying Culture

Can learning to read better, more deeply, and with greater understanding really save the world? I believe it can, at least, help, particularly when we read great works in the Western cultural tradition.Continue readingBooks Can (Help) Save Our Dying Culture

Peacocks, Vanity, and the Prick of Conscience

Peacocks (“royal turkeys”) are famous for their foolish vanity, but in Flannery O’Connor’s “An Afternoon in the Woods,” a more ordinary turkey (and a dead one at that) tempts a young boy into the sin of vain pride.Continue readingPeacocks, Vanity, and the Prick of Conscience

The Secret to Reading Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor’s stories make most readers uncomfortable, but that is the point. And points are uncomfortable. If you just keep reading, you’ll eventually see what the point is, and that will make your discomfort worthwhile.Continue readingThe Secret to Reading Flannery O’Connor

Andrew Seddon: Versatile Writer of Life-Affirming Stories

Andrew Seddon is a Catholic writer I first met through this blog and for whom I’ve since done some editing and book design. His stories range from space opera to saints’ lives to old-fashioned ghost stories, but whatever the genre, they all affirm the goodness of life.Continue readingAndrew Seddon: Versatile Writer of Life-Affirming Stories

Great Flood Recap: Wrestling with Proteus

Drawing from the same fund of mythology, different poets can tell very different stories, as we’ve seen when examining accounts of the Great Flood in both Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Epic of Gilgamesh.Continue readingGreat Flood Recap: Wrestling with Proteus

Metamorphoses 3: Change Is the Only Constant

Metamorphoses is a poem about the inevitability of change; the story of the Great Flood in Book I suggests that humans, like stone, are built to withstand constant change.Continue readingMetamorphoses 3: Change Is the Only Constant

Literature: The Best Kind of Time Machine

I love stories about time travel, but what I love even more are ancient stories that take me back to the time in which they were written.Continue readingLiterature: The Best Kind of Time Machine

Freedom: What Is It, Really?

As we Americans celebrate Independence Day and our cherished freedoms, it’s worth taking a moment to consider: what is freedom? How does it make our lives better?Continue readingFreedom: What Is It, Really?

Education: Don’t Shoot the Elephant

Education is not about affirming students in what they think they already know, much less in the way they feel. It is all about drawing students out of their own limited experience and exposing them to viewpoints that can lead them to larger truths.Continue readingEducation: Don’t Shoot the Elephant

Metamorphoses 2: The Flood Story in Detail

Looking at the immediate context in which Ovid’s flood story occurs, we see that, above the will of the gods, a higher destiny seems to be at work to preserve humankind.Continue readingMetamorphoses 2: The Flood Story in Detail

Metamorphoses 1: Context of the Flood

Ovid’s Metamorphoses emphasize the eternal theme of love amid the constant upheavals of history. In this context, he tells the story of the Great Flood.Continue readingMetamorphoses 1: Context of the Flood