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.
June 7th, 2013Launched Today: A New Website for Catholic Writersby Joseph Pearce
I'm delighted to announce the launch in the UK of a new website for Catholic Writers. The website has gone live today. Check it out: www.catholicwriters.co.uk» Continue Reading
June 7th, 2013The Gates of Hellby Joseph Pearce
I've just received an e-mail from a friend who confessed to feeling a little depressed about the way that a bad priest is prospering in Rome. I thought I'd share my response:
As for the Church, I am always consoled by the fact that as it is now it has always been. Look at the heresies that threatened to rip the early Church apart; or the corruption of which Dante and Chaucer write; or the fact that there have on occasion been two or even three people claiming to be pope at the same time; or the fact that popes have been imprisoned in the Vatican or exiled from it; or, for that matter, the many popes who have been martyred; or the English Martyrs.» Continue Reading
June 5th, 2013Book and TV Newsby Joseph Pearce
I'd like to share various items of news that I've received over the past few hours.
First, I've just heard from Ignatius Press that the Chinese edition of my biography of Alexander Solzhenitsyn will be published next month. The translation into Mandarin is the first Ignatius title ever to be translated into a Chinese language and published in China. This is, therefore, a significant cultural development and I am honoured to be the author of the book that has made this pioneering breakthrough beyond the bamboo curtain. Hopefully, Solzhenitsyn's example will be an inspiration to the people of China that there is an alternative to communism and to secular fundamentalism. I also hope that the great Russian's Christian witness will prove inspirational to a country that is in need of evangelization.» Continue Reading
June 5th, 2013Of Rubber Bands (or Psychological Physics)by Dena Hunt
It may be a trait of analogical thinking, or something much less sophisticated-sounding (like a small mind trying to understand something beyond its capability), but I often think of big things in terms of ordinary little things. Like love-friendship/bond-bondage/all kinds of relationships and psychological health: I understand this very broad and complex subject as a simple rubber band.» Continue Reading
June 3rd, 2013Father Dangerous - Bionic Priestby Kevin O'Brien
Coming this summer - Grunky - an internet video network.» Continue Reading
"Grunky" is a word coined by G. K. Chesterton when he was five to describe his spirituality. That spirituality is one of wit, laughter, joy, gratitude, intelligence, and a profound love for Jesus and a sharing in His cross.
June 3rd, 2013Guaranteed to Cheer the Heart!by Joseph Pearce
The St. Austin Review's mission is to reclaim the culture of Christendom. In the print edition we publish articles on literature, history, philosophy, film, theatre, the visual arts and music. With regard to the last of these, I am grateful to Susan Treacy, professor of music at Ave Maria University, who has written a regular music column for the print edition of StAR for many years. It is, however, a pity that Susan cannot illustrate her articles by allowing us to listen to the music of which she writes, whereas articles on the visual arts do not suffer this handicap. One advantage of a blog over the print edition is that we can post music to the site, sharing it with others. This being so, I'm going to occasionally share great music with visitors to the Ink Desk. Last Friday I posted the Catholic Cajun band, L'Angelus, performing at World Youth Day in Madrid. L'Angelus are all members of the same family, which is something they share in common with Oesch's die Dritten, a family group from Switzerland. The older man on the accordion is the father, the guitarist is a son, and the vocals are shared between mother and daughter. It's the daughter who steals the show in this performance. It's Swiss folk music at its best and will lift the heart of all but those whose hearts are made of lead. Click the link and enjoy!» Continue Reading
June 3rd, 2013The Absence of the Pastby Joseph Pearce
A few weeks ago, Ed posted a comment asking me if I found it difficult to adjust to life in the New World because of the relative absence of history: "Do you, or did you ever find it hard to adjust to life here in America, the 'new world' (with little to no past) versus your ancient homeland, Britain, old Albion, full and rich with history?"» Continue Reading
May 31st, 2013CAJUN CATHOLICS AT WORLD YOUTH DAYby Joseph Pearce
Visitors to the Ink Desk will know of my enthusiasm for the Catholic Cajun folk band, L'Angelus. Here's the band playing at World Youth Day in Madrid:» Continue Reading
May 31st, 2013MATRIARCHY OR ANARCHYby Joseph Pearce
There is a direct connection between the success of feminism and the rise of child abuse. Please check out this link for my comments and those of other Catholics about recent social trends:» Continue Reading
May 30th, 2013CORPUS CHRISTI AND CHRISTIAN MARTYRDOMby Joseph Pearce
Although Catholics in the United States could be forgiven for not knowing it, today is the Feast of Corpus Christi. The trouble is that the Feast is no longer celebrated on the traditional feast day. As a consequence of the modern(ist) mania for dumbing things down and making things easy, the traditional Holy Day has been transferred to the nearest Sunday. It seems that modern-day Catholics cannot be expected to inconvenience themselves by going to Mass on an additional day, even to pay homage to the Body of Christ. Cafeteria Catholicism is all about picking and choosing what we want; it is not about taking up our Cross and choosing to follow Christ to Golgotha, sharing in His suffering so that we might share in His Resurrection. These fair-weather Catholics would have headed home from the Crucifixion as soon as the skies darkened!» Continue Reading
May 29th, 2013More on Romeo and Julietby Joseph Pearce
Today I've given three separate radio interviews on the topic of my new book, Shakespeare on Love: Seeing the Catholic Presence in Romeo and Juliet (Ignatius Press). One of the interviews, with Teresa Tomeo on “Catholic Connection” on EWTN Radio, has just been posted to the web: http://avemariaradio.net/wp-content/themes/AveMaria/audioarchive/archiveListen.php?file=cc_20130528_2. The interview begins at 15:42.» Continue Reading
May 29th, 2013Elfdom in New Englandby Joshua Keatley
The blaze of the bonfire had ebbed to a low red flame, and the great pile of live coals born of it skipped and sparked among the ashes. I sat on one of several rude wooden benches, and as I sat I thoughtfully sucked my long pipe. Then, taking the curved stem from between my teeth I indicated the fire. “Ought’n it to be put out?” I said. From where he lounged in the shadows, one of the half-dozen or so others nearby me said: “well, I’ll be heading off to round up the kids in a bit.” The kids in question were the various visiting summer students, high schoolers who had been dropped off, awkward and uncertain, at the small college campus. In the distance, the more enthusiastic of them—those who actually wanted to be here—could still be faintly heard singing snatches of the old Irish folk tunes, which only a short while ago were being roared out around the great fire. The speaker, a fellow worker at the college during the sultry New England summer, rose and went sighing off into the night.
May 28th, 2013Hammering the Hereticsby Joseph PearcePelagius lived at Kardonoel
and taught a doctrine there
How whether you went to heaven or hell
It was your own affair ...
It had nothing to do with the Church, my boy,
But was your own affair.These are the opening lines of Hilaire Belloc's delightfully rambunctious and delightfully titled "Song of the Pelagian Heresy for the Strengthening of Men's Backs and the Very Robust Outthrusting of Doubtful Doctrine and the Uncertain Intellectual". Belloc's song came to mind because today is the feast of St. Germanus, the sixth century Bishop of Paris, who worked tirelessly to refute the error of the Pelagian heresy that man was not subject to Original Sin and that he could save his own soul, through the power of his own will, without the necessity of sanctifying grace.» Continue Reading
May 28th, 2013Gosnellingby Colin Jory
I want to coin a new verb, “to Gosnell”, with the present participle, adjective and gerund “Gosnelling”, and the past participle “Gosnelled”. The term is referenced, of course, to the disgraceful, ideologically-based silence of most of the U.S. national media ‑ notoriously liberal, and mainly New York and Washington based ‑ during the horrific Kermit Gosnell abortion-clinic trial. Only at its conclusion was there anything like the media coverage which the case obviously warranted, and much of that was sheepish and embarrassed. The massive left-consensus to minimize public awareness of the case was so blatant that it drew blistering condemnations from Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and from Fox News, to their everlasting credit.» Continue Reading
May 27th, 2013In Defense of Nonsense: A Pleaby Joshua Keatley
It is tempting to ask what the planners of the revised Standard Core Curriculum were thinking when they devised its content. That might, however, exceed the planners' capacities. As it is, even normally progressive members of the nation's professoriate have voiced stern alarums about the repercussions that the proposed Curriculum may entail for the future of America’s youth—who are already, as we know, such bright young things when taken in the aggregate.
After all, the new Core Curriculum proposal—an effort of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in conjunction with the Achieve Foundation—is a rather curious affair. More than anything, it is designed to be functional, practical, productive of students who can contribute to the building of a brighter future by acquiring those skills needed to boost the GDP. The reign of the toaster-makers has come into its own.» Continue Reading
May 26th, 2013To Cultivate the Mustard Seedby Kevin O'Brien
Now in the same way that our secret faults cause tremors at the surface no matter how well we've hidden them (as I write about here - Our Faults Become Fissures of Men), so something else hidden within us eventually shows forth.» Continue Reading
May 26th, 2013Our Faults Become “Fissures of Men”by Kevin O'Brien
Above all else, guard your heart, -(Prov. 4:23)
Geologically speaking, faults can cause big problems. A hidden fracture, buried ever so deeply, can devastate the land above, causing horrible earthquakes.
May 26th, 2013Interview with a Typical Catholicby Kevin O'Brien
Q: I understand you're a Typical Catholic. Where do you go to Mass?
» Continue Reading
A: Well, I don't usually go to Mass, but when I do it's at St. Somewhere.
May 25th, 2013Sex (Again)by Dena Hunt
Back in November 2010, shortly after I retired from teaching, I wrote a post paraphrasing a classroom discussion among my Freshman English students. The discussion, with only a few weak murmurs of protest, concluded with the rather bald statement that sex is boring. If I remember correctly, there were a few comments on that post, disagreeing not so much with the statement as with the idea that college students really think like that.
Now there’s a new book out: The End of Sex. The author, interviewed on Fox News today, blamed what she called the “hook-up culture” on college campuses for the demise. This is not news. Of course, it’s dying. Without love, sex is ultimately just boring. Without the trust, the self-abandonment that is really possible only in the liberating freedom of marriage, all sex can offer is the thrill of recklessness. And boredom is the discovery of least consequence.» Continue Reading
May 24th, 2013NEWMAN A to Z: TRINITARIANISMby Joseph Pearce
There are persons who think the Catholic doctrine of the Holy Trinity 'scholastic'; and so it is, but it is something more, it is Apostolic also.
All quotes from the Newman A to Z are taken from The Quotable Newman, recently published by Sophia Institute Press. This completes the series.» Continue Reading