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A Dose of Glory: Lauryn Hill’s “Miseducation” Goes Diamond

In the late summer of 1998, Lauryn Hill released what is widely considered the greatest hip hop album of all time, and one of the greatest albums of any genre, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It is a unique blend of R&B, gospel, soul, reggae, and rap recorded mostly at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Studio […]

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Hints of the Transcendent in the Science Fiction of Ray Bradbury

While he is perhaps best known for his critically acclaimed dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury thought of himself primarily as a writer of short stories. Often wedged in between Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke as one of the “ABCs” of twentieth-century science fiction, Bradbury’s work is remarkably divergent in style and substance from […]

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Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy”: A New Translation Helps to Better Understand a Classic

This month, the Society of G.K. Chesterton announced the publication of a new book titled Orthodoxy: An American Translation, which should immediately provoke confusion among Chesterton fans. Didn’t Chesterton write in English? Why do we need a translation? What does it even mean to translate English into English? And why is this book, with its […]

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The Present You Want Is Not the Gift You Need

Some time ago, in the feverish throes of buying a book for a good friend’s birthday, I had an epiphany. Wrapping the book in colored paper and neatly nestling it in the gift bag, my wife asked me what I had purchased. After naming the book and smiling at my own thoughtfulness, my wife quipped, […]

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Memento Mori: Remember That You Have to Die

Do you remember when you first realized that you would eventually die? I do. Each summer, my family visited my great aunt’s cottage on Christie Lake in southwest Michigan. Sometimes my sisters and I were left there with our grandmother for the week. Besides swimming in the lake and playing cards, there wasn’t much to […]

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“Lost in Thought” and “The Dig”: Let the Cult of the Amateur Arise!

We need more amateurs. In her new book Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of the Intellectual Life, Zena Hitz, a practicing Catholic and Tutor in the great books program at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, makes the case for the life of the mind for everyone. Hitz has a PhD from Princeton, but […]

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For Lent, Let’s Imagine Scripture to Refresh Our Prayer

The story goes that St. Ignatius of Loyola, while recovering from a severe wartime injury, filled a three-hundred-page notebook with what some might call “daydreams of Scripture”—a way of passing the heavy hours on his hands that actually developed into an important practice of prayer within what has become known as Ignatian spirituality.  Anyone who […]

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Why Christina Rossetti’s “A Better Resurrection” is Lenten Food for 2021

One of the counter-intuitive blessings of Lent is that it is long enough to be tedious. It’s simply not possible (at least in my experience) to keep up a state of intense spiritual activity for the whole forty days (or forty-six, if we count the Sundays of Lent). Forty days is time enough to start […]

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Here Comes Lent! Let the Saints Help Us Out

A friend in seminary once shared how all of the students would try to “outdo” one another during Lent. They would wake up to screams in the morning because a handful of them gave up hot water and couldn’t hold back their wailing during that icy morning wake-up call. Some of them wouldn’t be able […]

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Herbert McCabe and What Faith Is and Isn’t

One of the greatest Catholic thinkers of the twentieth century was Fr. Herbert McCabe. He is also one of the most underappreciated. Though he was a Dominican and (naturally as such) greatly influenced by St. Thomas Aquinas, it is said by those who know his work best that he was rather uncomfortable being called a […]

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