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 3rd, 2014The Methodist in the Madnessby Joseph Pearce
The latest statistics coming from England suggest that the Methodist Church is shrivelling in size so dramatically that it resembles a shrinking iceberg crumbling into the secular sea.
It is the tried and tested fate of all the severed branches of Christendom. The madness in the "Method" leads to the Methodist in the madness! Only the True Church has the promise that the gates of Hell will not prevail. Be not afraid as John Paul II might say, but also be not surprised!» Continue Reading
September 1st, 2014Anonymous Saints: What is God About?by Kevin O'Brien
My friend Joe Grabowski sends along another example in my Anonymous Saints series.» Continue Reading
This is the story of a 99-year old woman who makes a new dress every day and donates it to a needy child in Africa.
Now, I can't help but think that my son, Colin O'Brien, who is an exact clone of me, will react to this post the way he reacted to my sharing this on Facebook ...
September 1st, 2014The Evangelizing Power of Beautyby Joseph Pearce
Last Thursday, during my first week at Aquinas College in Nashville, I gave the inaugural lecture of my tenure as Director of the Aquinas College Center for Faith and Culture. The title of my talk was "The Evangelizing Power of Beauty". Almost two hundred people attended. Here's the link to the recording of the talk:» Continue Reading
September 1st, 2014Modern Art and the Imaginative Conservativeby Joseph Pearce
My latest article for the Imaginative Conservative muses upon the meaning of modern art, discussing the impressionists, surrealists and abstract expressionists, and the works of Monet and Dali, as well as the music of Stravinsky and the poetry of Hopkins, Eliot and Sassoon. Here's the link:» Continue Reading
August 29th, 2014In Honor of Stratford Caldecottby Dena Hunt
Crisis magazine gives an in-depth review of a collection of essays honoring Stratford Caldecott. Especially for those who are devotees of this extraordinary man, here’s a link:» Continue Reading
August 29th, 2014The Real Desecration of Marriageby Kevin O'Brien
She was one of the presenters at a "Journey of Faith" class that my wife and I were taking, back when we were looking into becoming Episcopalians.» Continue Reading
She told the following story.
August 27th, 2014Defending the Definiteby Joseph Pearce
I write from Aquinas College in Nashville during my first week of teaching in my new position as Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Center for Faith and Culture. Many exciting things have already happened this week and other exciting things are scheduled before I return home to South Carolina on Friday. I hope to write more in the next day or so. In the interim, I’m posting the link to my latest article for the Imaginative Conservative in which, as a diminutive David, I take on the Goliathan might of Wittgenstein:» Continue Reading
August 25th, 2014The Masculine Mystiqueby Marie Dudzik
Women love to talk about men, and most often the conversation comes around to the question “Where have all the men gone?” What we are really asking is “Whatever happed to masculinity?”» Continue Reading
August 24th, 2014Hearts of Flesh and the Personal Dimension of Salvationby Kevin O'Brien
We are not saved by a system. We are not saved by a program. We are not saved by a gimmick.» Continue Reading
We are saved by a person. And by His death, which was the most personal gift He could give.
This is why heart must speak to heart (as I wrote, quoting Bl. John Henry Newman, earlier today - whose motto was cor ad cor loquitur: heart speaks to heart). Anything in the Church that falls shy of loyalty, love, fidelity and integrity between people; anything that falls shy of the true mutual giving and sacrifice of love; anything that falls shy of an actual realistic relationship; anything that falls shy of heart speaking to heart and heart listening to heart is a sham and is a hollow mockery of what saves us.
August 24th, 2014The Scandal of Coffee and Donutsby Kevin O'Brien
Canon Ueda (who has been giving Private Instruction to my actor Dave, a recent convert to the Catholic Faith) told Dave this morning that it was not enough to go to Sunday Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory in South St. Louis, where Dave has been going. He had to start going to Coffee and Donuts as well.» Continue Reading
August 22nd, 2014E. F. Schumacher: Small is Beautiful and so is Catholicismby Joseph Pearce
My article on the great convert economist, E. F. Schumacher, has just been published on the ChurchPop website:» Continue Reading
August 22nd, 2014Show Biz and the Divine Dramaby Kevin O'Brien
Mark Shea has written a third installment in his series on the connection between Drama and Religion, which you can find at Catholic World Report. Since I've written about this topic myself (mostly from the point of view of actors, or the analogy between Acting and the Faith), I thought I'd add a few things to the very insightful points that Mark makes.» Continue Reading
August 20th, 2014Twelve Angry Men and Shakespeare’s Catholicismby Joseph Pearce
I've just received an e-mail from a correspondent in Australia about the play, Twelve Angry Men. The sort of evidence that is encapsulated in the paragraph he quotes is not only applicable to the case for Shakespeare's Catholicism but is the same principle for the evidence for Catholic Christianity that Newman employs in The Grammar of Assent. It's the healthy marriage of reason with common sense!
Here's the text of the e-mail:» Continue Reading
August 20th, 2014The Unchosenby Dena Hunt
We’re seeing the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, which, according to just about everyone there, have nothing to do with the shooting of a black robber by a white policeman, and we’re seeing the hideous massacre of Christians and others in northern Iraq by an army of Islamists—and this is just today’s news. The same news comes from Gaza, firing literally thousands of rockets into Israel and constructing tunnels by which to kill more, especially in schools, hospitals, and other sites where victims are most defenseless. This is not conquest, this is not a religious argument, this is not racism. It’s not a political or ideological revolution. There is no order to it, no organization, no sense of purpose. The looting in Ferguson has no aim to acquire money or consumer goods. It has no aim at all. This is not a descent into the law of the jungle—where animals kill in order to eat—this is a descent below that, where there is no law at all, no purpose except to take for the sake of taking, to kill for the sake of killing.» Continue Reading
August 20th, 2014I’m Just Down the Road from Ferguson, Missouriby Kevin O'Brien
In fact, here's the cake in Ferguson, Missouri that Karen and I photographed in June. It's in the revived downtown, which is filled with local shops, black and white owners, a charming area.» Continue Reading
August 20th, 2014Sacred and Satanic Violence: The Place of the Demonic in the Fiction of Flannery O’Connorby Kevin Kennelly
Flannery O'Connor was thrice blessed: she was Catholic, she was southern and she was an Irish American. She also was one of the great writers of the 20th century combining an extraordinary ability to put words together in a pleasing way with a talent for developing stories and mesmerizing readers. Many of her writings are deeply Catholic. And she was a top drawer Thomist. The inestimable Ralph Wood, a scholar of the first order affiliated with Baylor University has written a thorough and fascinating piece dealing with "the place of the demonic" in O'Connor's writings.» Continue Reading
August 19th, 2014What I saw in Quebecby Marie Dudzik
As Americans, the progressive version of history we are taught in schools wants us to believe that our ancestors were glad to throw off the shackles of the Old World. The Pilgrims were forced out of their homeland and the colonists of New England were happy to give good riddance to King George and old England. But the Canadian province of Quebec tells another story, one of a people so proud and enamored of their European homeland that they sought to create an extension of France, a New France, as Quebec was once called. I found this out first hand this July as I travelled to Quebec on a pilgrimage. Our chaplain was newly-ordained Fr. Nathan Caswell, SJC, a priest of the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius in Chicago and Canadian transplant.» Continue Reading
August 19th, 2014You Can’t “Program” Salvationby Kevin O'Brien
In Flannery O'Connor's short stories, the grace of God is shown to operate in shocking and disturbing ways. For Flannery, the door to salvation opens the moment our own selfish walls are cracked (usually violently), allowing God's grace to rush in - along with horror and remorse, which are aspects of Awe and of the Fear of God. Indeed, horror and remorse can quite literally be the closet we come on this earth to experiencing God's love.» Continue Reading
August 18th, 2014Inaugural Lecture in Nashvilleby Joseph Pearce
Next week, on Thursday, August 28, I will be giving my inaugural lecture as Director of the Center for Faith & Culture at Aquinas College in Nashville. The title of my talk will be "The Evangelizing Power of Beauty: Converting the Culture". If you live in the Nashville area or know people in the area, please try to attend and promote the event. Here are the full details:» Continue Reading
August 18th, 2014Who is Man?by Joseph Pearce
Continuing my current preoccupation with questioning the definitive meaning of the most important things, such as civilization and Christendom, I continue this week with one of the most crucial of all questions: Who is Man?» Continue Reading