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.

  • September 17th, 2012The Faith of Fr. Faberby Joseph Pearce

    One of my favourite hymns is "Faith of Our Fathers", a celebration of Cathoic Martyrs in general and the English Martyrs in particular. It is a veritable anthem of the Church Militant, especially when Faber's words are united to the stridently upbeat tune to which it is sung in England as distinct from the mellow melody employed in the United States. It is the custom in the Pearce family to sing this hymn (English version) on the feast days of the English martyrs. The hymn was written by the the great convert priest, Frederick Faber, a friend of Blessed John Henry Newman and, like Newman, a convert to Rome from the Oxford Movement within the Anglican Church.

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  • September 17th, 2012On Sufferingby Kevin O'Brien

    If we did not have a God Who suffers, none of this would make any sense.

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  • September 17th, 2012Lessons on Morality from Shakespeare and Ferris Buellerby Kevin O'Brien

    This is from a fan of our YouTube page.  He writes to me saying ...

    As man of theater yourself, I imagine that you have had the same moral questions from time to time. Should I take this part? Should I assist in this production? And so on. For me, these questions are more difficult to answer because they involve acting and simulation. Playing the part of the sinner is different from actually being the sinner.     
    I would like to know how a Catholic goes about finding principled answers to these kinds of questions. Have you found any helpful guides or resources?
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  • September 15th, 2012The Stewardship of Loveby Kevin O'Brien

    We had to go to the 7:00 am Sunday Mass in this small town in Kansas, for we had to make it all the way back to St. Louis for a Sunday evening performance that same night.  I had hoped there would be few people and no music - there often isn't at the early Sunday Mass in most parishes.  But the church was Standing Room Only and Haugen-Haas-Schutte was being played (badly) and sung (weakly) and ruining any chance at all for prayer or solemn worship.  The priest, looking resplendent in his Ordinary Green, was ad-libbing just enough of the new translation of the Liturgy to make it annoying.

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  • September 14th, 2012Another Great New Bishopby Joseph Pearce

    Until fairly recently faithful Catholics were justifiably despondent about the lack of leadership from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. It seemed that the leadership of the Church in the United States was either weak (at best) or heretical (at worst). Now, however, and thanks be to God, we have a new generation of faithful and orthodox bishops who seem to have the courage of their convictions. The latest new appointment is Bishop James D. Conley as the new Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska.

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  • September 14th, 2012Tolkien Fever Grips New Zealandby Joseph Pearce

    It seems that the magic of Middle-earth is once again working wonders for the toutist industry in New Zealand. A decade after the release of the Peter Jackson movie adpatation of The Lord of the Rings, the prospect of the long-awaited sequel, a three-part adaptation by Jackson of The Hobbit, is rekindling the flame of what might be termed Tolkien-mania.

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  • September 14th, 2012Travelling with Orcsby Joseph Pearce

    In previous posts I have mused about “an evening with Gollum” and about “breakfast with Mr. Gullible”, whom I compared to Denethor. Continuing the theme, I’d like to recount an unpleasant hour many years ago in which I found myself in the company of orcs. It was back in England, a land that has become much like Mordor. To be precise, it was on an eastbound tube train in London.

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  • September 13th, 2012The Murdered Ambassador and the Ugly Truthby Joseph Pearce

    Politics stinks. It is an ugly, sordid business. It is also, at its worst, disastrous and deadly. The killing on the eleventh anniversary of 9-11 of the US Ambassador to Libya and three other US citizens was the work of Islamic fundamentalists. It was, however, aided and abetted by US foreign policy in the Middle East. This is the ugly truth that must be stressed.

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  • September 12th, 2012God Bless Cardinal Dolan!by Kevin O'Brien

    There are a ton of bishops and a few cardinals in the Church who are St. Louis natives, or who have served as bishops in St. Louis before moving on.  Last night I wrote about the less-than-Christian behavior of one, Bishop Finn of Kansas City / St. Joseph.

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  • September 10th, 2012It is (Never) Enoughby Kevin O'Brien

    I knew a man who was addicted to sex.  Affairs with women, sick relationships.  Two failed marriages, several failed live-ins.  He kept a journal of how many women he had taken to bed, and there were many - very many.  As Chesterton says about people who are rich, "To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it".  The same can be said for sex addicts.  If you really want to take thousands of women to bed over the course of your life, you can indeed get that - but you have to be sick enough to care, and driven enough to make that your life's vocation.  And this man did just that; he devoted his entire life - his energies, his spare time, his focus - to this one obsession.  He lost one good paying job over it, maybe more.  The last time I saw him, he was in his mid-70's, proud that he had picked up a waitress in her 30's who was living with him, and who his other girlfriend didn't know about.  Of course, she was a heroin addict and had been in and out of prison.  But she liked him and the sex was good.

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  • September 9th, 2012A Little Bit More About Evilby Dena Hunt

    Recent Convert (R.C.), Abigail, and I had a brief discussion about this topic a few days ago on another post. This is an addendum. Surmising evil to be without reason (without justification), and therefore chaos and disorder—the absence of God, I speculated that it might be what hell is like. In the same way that darkness is what it is only because of the absence of light. Two things happened after that—rather, two phrases I heard that became “neon.”

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  • September 7th, 2012Revisiting Bridesheadby Joseph Pearce

    Later today I will be discussing and debating the merits of Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece, Brideshead Revisited, with William Fahey, President of Thomas More College, in a two hour session with the entire student body of the college. In my own introductory comments I will be concentrating on the multifarious ways in which the action of grace can be seen in the lives of the main characters, a theme which Waugh himself described in the preface to the second edition of the novel as the overarching theme of the whole work.

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  • September 7th, 2012A Postcard from Thomas More Collegeby Joseph Pearce

    Today is the first day of classes at Thomas More College. Like the students with whom I hiked in the White Mountains on Monday and Tuesday, I am a Freshman at this new school. I am the new kid on the block, having joined the TMC Faculty after eleven years of teaching at Ave Maria University.

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  • September 6th, 2012How Smooth This Road to Hell Seems!by Kevin O'Brien

    Did you ever stop and think about how much trouble we get in simply by doing things that we know are objectively wrong?

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  • September 6th, 2012Bishop Elliott to Celebrate Mass in St. Louisby Kevin O'Brien

    Bishop Peter Elliott of Melbourne, Australia will be celebrating Holy Mass in the city that is probably the furthest city in the world from his home diocese. 

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  • September 5th, 2012Hidden Gems in Mid-Missouriby Kevin O'Brien

    Hidden gems in rural towns in Mid-Missouri ... (plus a few shots of me in character)

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  • September 5th, 2012Pearce on Pierceby Joseph Pearce

    Over the last two days I have had the immense pleasure of getting to know the White Mountains of New Hampshire. On Monday I hiked to the summits of Mount Pierce and Mount Eisenhower in the company of the incoming Freshman class of Thomas More College, which I have just joined as writer in residence and Visiting Fellow. I can think of no more pleasurable way of getting to know one's future students!

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  • September 5th, 2012Wagner, Wotan, and Christby Joseph Pearce

    I'd like to draw attention to an excellent comment by Mark to my post "The Peace that Parsifal Understanding" (August 31st). Mark questions my assertion that Wagner was a Christian and goes on to quote Roger Scruton to buttress the more conventional image of Wagner as a humanist whose adherence to Christianity was tenuous and heretical.

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  • September 4th, 2012Blaming the Victimby Dena Hunt

    Father Benedict Groeschel made a comparatively innocuous remark on the subject of the scandal in the Church during an interview by the National Catholic Register. The remark resulted in negative publicity, but that was not its only effect; it also caused Fr. Groeschel to step down from the show he has hosted on EWTN for many years. NCR has apologized for publishing the remark, as well they should—it was inexcusably poor editing, but what troubles me more is the nature of the apology and all those that followed.

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  • September 4th, 2012That Question of Evil—Againby Dena Hunt

    A friend (I’ll call him John) weeps over the human trafficking of children, sold for sexual use. In some parts of the world, they are even bred now for that market. He rages and demands to know how we’re supposed to deal with the reality of evil. That may the oldest question in the world. Explaining evil is a topic that’s been done to death. Literally. The responses have become stock. Here are the three most common.

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