Welcome to the Ink Desk

Enjoy the ponderings of the Star's contributors and add your own thoughts. As this section develops, we hope it may become a medium for an exchange of ideas among those who are working towards the cultural revival.

  • July 29th, 2012Curiosity Killed the Monkeyby Joseph Pearce

    The culture of death does not believe in having children but it's pretty adept at corrupting other people's kids. The poison seeps through the relativist schmaltz of Disney et al and it's very difficult to protect one's own children from being intoxicated by this soporifically banal dross. We have tried to protect our own children by getting rid of the television, indubitably one of the best decisions we've made. Our four-year-old daughter gets to watch children's videos on the computer and my wife does her best to monitor the nature of the programming that she sees. The Wiggles strike me as pretty healthy and fairly traditional in their approach. They even include avowedly Christian songs on their Christmas DVDs, which seems to take a degree of courage in these increasingly intolerant days. Veggie Tales are good fun, of course, and unabashedly Christian. I've grown fond of Handy Manny and his indestructible gentleness, though the world in which he moves is sanitized to avoid any mention of religion.

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  • July 29th, 2012Fighting for Religious Freedom in Mexicoby Joseph Pearce

    As the Obama regime continues its war of attrition against the Catholic Church, it seems that the Cistero War in Mexico, the subject of the recent film For Greater Glory as well as being the subject of a number of posts here on the Ink Desk, seems more relevant than ever. This being so, here are some details of an excellent new book about la Cristiada.

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  • July 29th, 2012Filming Lectures on Chesterton and Tolkienby Joseph Pearce

    I have a very exciting week in store, which I hope and pray will bear great fruit. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I will be filming two "Catholic Courses" (www.catholiccourses.com). The first will be an eight lecture series on "The Thought of G. K. Chesterton" and the second will be an eight lecture series on "The Catholicism of The Hobbit". I'm very excited by the prospect of filming both courses and hope you will consider purchasing one or other, or both, of them when they are released later this year. On Thursday morning, I fly to Reno, Nevada for the National Chesterton Conference. I'm giving a talk on "The Humour and Humility of Chesterton" on Thursday evening, and leading a discussion on "The Thought of Chesterton" on Saturday. It's not too late to register for this conference. For details, please see my post of a few days ago.

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  • July 27th, 2012Too Good To Miss!by Joseph Pearce

    Time is running out! Register today for the 31st Annual Chesterton Conference in Reno, August 2-4!

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  • July 26th, 2012Chesterton on Jews and Germansby Joseph Pearce

    Ahead of next week's Chesterton Conference in Reno, Nevada, I thought I' post my response to three questions related to the great GKC which were sent to me yesterday:

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  • July 25th, 2012Cross Over the Lineby Sophia Mason

    Once upon a time yours truly was a heretic. If that word conjures up images of stakes and spiked iron chairs and empire-chinned prelates of dubious heart and Pricean voice, you can stop reading now. I am not the reincarnation of a Spanish dissenter. Nor am I that only slightly less interesting thing, a convert from Protestantism. No, I came by my heresy honestly, being baptized a Catholic and having every intention of dying one.

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  • July 25th, 2012The Spawn of Nietzscheby Kevin O'Brien

    OK, I can understand young girls getting a secret thrill out of Ayn Rand - Rand's novels are Hallmark Movies on steroids, where the shirtless heroes are selfish geniuses who take what they want when they want it and ride off into the sunset on some powerful and muscular horse, snorting along the way (the horse, not the hero).  And girls have always liked Bad Boys.

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  • July 25th, 2012James the Great, Defender of Christendomby Joseph Pearce

    Today is the Feast of St. James the Great, patron of Spain and Defender of Christendom. Earlier this year, I fulfilled a long-held desire to visit the shrine of the great saint at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. What a joy and honour it was to pay homage to St. James by praying at his tomb.

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  • July 24th, 2012Kevin O’Brien’s Journey Homeby Kevin O'Brien

    Kevin O'Brien, founder of the Theater of the Word Incorporated, will be featured on EWTN's The Journey Home  on Monday, August 6 at 8:00 pm Eastern time (7:00 Central).  Kevin recounts his journey from atheism to the Catholic Church, which began with his experiences on stage; and he and host Marcus Grodi discuss many things, including the relation between Acting and Faith.  He will also be featured on Grodi's radio program Deep in Scripture on EWTN Radio Wednesday, August 8th at 2:00 pm Eastern (1:00 pm Central), discussing a number of Scripture verses, especially as they relate to the spirituality of the arts.

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  • July 24th, 2012Bit by Painful Bitby Dena Hunt

    There were several posts recently about patriotism and nationalism. These are not synonyms, nor are they “positive” and “negative” views of the same human emotion. They are antonyms, in fact. Patriotism is the love of one’s homeland, having its source in connotative memory of home, family, of that which is familiar and dear. It performs the healthy psychological function of bestowing identity, a sense of security and of belonging. It’s a natural part of a healthy psyche. 

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  • July 24th, 2012An Evening With Gollumby Joseph Pearce

    Having returned home on Sunday from our family holiday in California, I am now embroiled in the writing of an eight part lecture series on The Hobbit for Catholic Courses (www.catholiccourses.com). As I grapple with the moral and theological dimension of Tolkien’s classic children’s story, I am mindful of Tolkien’s assertion in his famous essay “On Fairy Stories” that fairy stories hold up a mirror of scorn and pity to man. This being so, I recall an evening some time ago when I spent a few tortured and tortuous hours in the presence of Gollum himself – not the literal Gollum, of course, which would have been a little scary, but the mirror of Gollum reflected in an old friend of mine.

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  • July 23rd, 2012Little Sisters Standing Tallby Kevin O'Brien

    From a talk given during the Fortnight of Freedom by Sister Constance Carolyn of the Little Sisters of the Poor ...

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  • July 23rd, 2012Trying Godby Kevin O'Brien

    I'm in a bad mood this morning.  Why?  Because it's Monday?  Because I'm crabby?  Because I got out of bed?

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  • July 23rd, 2012Falling Down the Rabbit Hole at Massby Lorraine V. Murray

    “Welcome to our Eucharistic celebration,” the cantor bellows. “Please silence all electronic devices. Your cooperation is appreciated.”

    “And now, before we begin, let’s stand and greet those around us.”

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  • July 23rd, 2012Facing Secular Fundamentalism with the Courage of Sanctityby Joseph Pearce

    Brendan King, a regular contributor to the St. Austin Review, has submitted this inspirational post about Catherine Abrikosova, a Catholic convert who fearlessly faced the brutality of the communist regime in Russia.

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  • July 18th, 2012Seven Days of Musical Heavenby Susan Treacy

    Although the 2012 CMAA Sacred Music Colloquium ended on July 1st, I am still basking in its afterglow.  This was Colloquium XXII!  What an amazing fact!  The Colloquium began in 1991, thanks to Father Robert Skeris, at that time on Christendom College's theology faculty.  I have been attending the Colloquium since 1994 (missing only twice) and I have witnessed a tremendous efflorescence of Catholic sacred music and liturgy.  In the early days attendance hovered around twenty-five to forty participants; there was a cozy intimacy, helped along by the homey ambience of Christendom College.  There were also the founding fathers, titans of sacred music—Monsignor Richard Schuler, Father Robert Skeris, Maestro Paul Salumunovich, Father Ralph March, O.Cist., and organist/composer Calvert Shenk.

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  • July 18th, 2012Of Castles in the Sandby Dena Hunt

    I had just read Peter Kreeft’s impeccable logic on the uniqueness of Christianity at http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2012/07/dr-kreeft-the-uniqueness-of-christianity/ when I read Joseph’s post, “Becoming As Little Children.” And I was struck again by the different avenues of knowing. Kreeft in his beautiful lucidity answers the claim that Christianity is (merely) one faith among many. His logic is intellectually flawless. Joseph watches a man tattooed all over with many gang symbols, building sand castles at the beach with his children. It struck me that I was reading the same essay by different authors. Kreeft explicates the truth via the intellect; Joseph, via the spirit.

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  • July 17th, 2012Becoming Like Little Childrenby Joseph Pearce

    Our annual sojourn with my wife's family in southern California is proving something of a challenge. For most of the time, most of us have been sick. Our children, proving more resilient and recovering sooner than their relatively fragile parents, have the family on a demanding boot camp regimen of beach and playground. After two essentially sleepless nights, such normal behaviour on the part of my children strikes me as particularly brutal. I drag myself to the beach much as a reluctant schoolboy drags himself to school, more from an obstinate sense of duty than any inherent desire for sand or surf. And yet, even in the spiritual murk of such fuzzy-headedness, I was gifted two days ago with an epiphanous moment.

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  • July 16th, 2012Raising a Glass to Theologiansby Robert Asch

    The blog is new to me, but it seems rather splendid.

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  • July 16th, 2012Apocalypse Soon!by Kevin O'Brien

    First, I must apologize to my friend Joseph Pearce for mischaracterizing his Ink Desk blog post The Resurrection of the God of Physics, which in my haste I read as Joseph's agreement with an article in Crisis that seemed to imply the notion that physics can prove the existence of God.  

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