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 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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  • July 14th, 2012Never Letting a Quarrel Get in the Way of a Good Argumentby Joseph Pearce

    It seems that Kevin O'Brien and I have taken radically different positions with regard to the article by Father Rutler. That's one of things I like about this site: the engagement of like-minded Catholics about the issues of the day

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  • July 13th, 2012Comfort and Christianityby Joseph Pearce

    The usually excellent George Rutler has written an alarming and alarmist post in today's Crisis Magazine online:  http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/the-election-of-2012.

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  • July 13th, 2012It’s Hardly Prophecy Any Moreby Kevin O'Brien

    Not long ago James V. Schall SJ wrote a piece that began, "Catholics have little legal future in this country except as a narrow, strictly defined sect."  He went on to suggest that there would come a time in the U.S.A. where we will have an officially tolerated faux-church, and an actual, but underground and persecuted, church-of-the-catacombs, as in China. 

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  • July 13th, 2012The Savior of Scienceby Kevin O'Brien

    Joseph Pearce points to an article at Crisis, which asserts that physics can prove that there is a God.  But I would suggest that this is as much of a mistake as asserting that physics can prove that there is no God.

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  • July 12th, 2012The Resurrection of the God of Physicsby Joseph Pearce

    Last week I posted a link to an excellent BBC radio documentary about the priest scientist Georges Le Maitre who is accredited with positing the Big Bang Theory. In similar vein, this article in today's Crisis Magazine shows that statements by atheists, such as Stephen Hawking, that God is dead are proving premature, as shown by new discoveries in physics:

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  • July 12th, 2012Taking Exception to Exceptionalismby Joseph Pearce

    In the light of our recent discussions about the United States, this excellent article by Thomas Storck will add grist to our cognitive mill:

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  • July 12th, 2012In Aeternum: The England That Never Changesby Joseph Pearce

    Recent posts on this site about the United States and England, and especially Dena’s recent “blasphemous” post about the decline, decay and ultimate disintegration of England have prompted my musings on the mutability of nations and cultures. Is everything subject to change? If so, is there any permanent value attached to these mutable things? Why bother about the USA or England if they are doomed to die?

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  • July 10th, 2012The Most Frightening Novel Ever?by Joseph Pearce

    I had hoped this morning to write a post entitled "The Eternal, Unchanging England" as a comment upon Dena's excellent "blasphemous" post. Although I agree with her observations and analysis, I'd like to take her discussion on a transendental tangent that leads us to a more hopeful conclusion. Since, however, I am on holiday with my family in California and since my son had me up half the night because of a bad case of congestion, which is preventing him from sleeping, I think I'll need to postpone the writing of the post until tomorrow.

    In the interim, I'm posting a link to an excellent article by the inestimable and indefatigable Jesuit, Father Schall, about R. H. Benson's novel, The Lord of the World.

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  • July 9th, 2012And now, for a little blasphemy . . .by Dena Hunt

    We’ve just done our July 4th thing. Sentimentalists (I don’t use the word “patriots”) get all misty and irritated on this day. They satisfy their need to mist by playing military band music, and in their rhetoric, confuse us sometimes about what’s actually being celebrated—not so much mention is made of the American Revolution or the Declaration of Independence any more, but there’s often much talk about our veterans, etc. July 4th over time has gotten mixed up with all kinds of other things; it’s all tied up now with whatever is “patriotic.” After all, England (which hardly even exists now anyway; it’s been subsumed into something called the UK, which is, in turn, subsumed into something called the EU) is our long-standing closest ally. So it’s kind of difficult to assume a contrary posture toward the country from which we once declared our independence and on which we once waged war. So—we settle for something rather like general patriotism and wax sentimental. The irritation comes from this very muddledness about what we’re celebrating. People get irritated at the lack of reverence paid to patriotism. They want to interrupt the cook-outs and fireworks to restore a more reverent regard toward July 4th—which used to be called Independence Day. You never hear that term any more, however, which is a good indication of the holiday’s lost original meaning.

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  • July 8th, 2012Some Civil Words on an Uncivil Warby Joseph Pearce

    I arrived with my family in California yesterday at the commencement of a fortnight vacation. As such, I suspect that my posts over the next two weeks will be somewhat sketchy due to the presence of lovable distractions. By way of illustration, my four-year-old daughter is sitting at the breakfast table asking me intermittently why I am working when it’s supposed to be a playing day.

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  • July 7th, 2012Trading on Chesterton without a Trace of Chestertonby Kevin O'Brien

    Well, there is such a thing as the Benefit of the Doubt. 

    But a PARISH SECRETARY???

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  • July 7th, 2012The Unholy Familyby Kevin O'Brien

    Frank Weathers has engaged in an interesting conversation with Timothy Dalrymple here

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  • July 6th, 2012The Problem and the Solutionby Kevin O'Brien

    "I know what your problem is. In fact, I know what everyone’s problem is. Furthermore, I not only know the problem, I have the solution."

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  • July 6th, 2012Book Newsby Joseph Pearce

    Within the past few minutes, I've sent the manuscript of a new book, tentatively titled "Bilbo's Pilgrimage: The Christianity of The Hobbit"  to my publisher, Saint Benedict Press. The plan is to have it published in time for the release of the first part of Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of The Hobbit this December.

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