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.
October 22nd, 2013Sub-Culture and Sub-Catholicsby Kevin O'Brien
A Facebook friend writes (and I gloss a bit on what he writes) ...
What we want is authentic Catholic culture. This means three priorities: that it be authentic, that it be Catholic, that it be culture.
Now, because we happen to live in Babylon (cf. Vincent McNabb), this culture is de facto (but not ipso facto) a sub-culture; but it is not intentionally sub-cultural as any kind of motivation.
October 22nd, 2013Waugh on Wordsby Joseph PearceA friend has sent me this wonderful interview with Evelyn Waugh, given in 1960. As expected, Waugh, at his witty best, made me laugh out loud on a couple of occasions, and, at his irritable and irritating worst, made me physically cringe in embarrassment.» Continue Reading
October 22nd, 2013School Days, These Daysby Dena Hunt
I swap email forwards with a friend in the UK. This arrived from Julia this morning, and I thought I’d share it with Ink Desk readers. When I was teaching, I was often amazed at the lengths people would go to in order to avoid actually raising their children. Hillary Clinton, speaking for all the wise moderns, said that it takes a village to raise a child. The following (un)funny scenarios are what happens when we turn our children over to the village.» Continue Reading
October 22nd, 2013Flannery’s Prayer Journalby Lorraine V. MurrayI was elated, enchanted and enriched by reading a soon-to-be-published prayer journal by my favorite author, Flannery O'Connor. Here's what I wrote about it:http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2013/09/lorraine-murray-flannery-oconnors-prayer-journal-hearing-an-old-friends-voice-again/» Continue Reading
October 22nd, 2013More on the Strange Case of Shylock the Leprechaunby Joseph Pearce
Further to yesterday's post about Shylock's Gaelic and Jewish incarnations, Brendan King has sent me the sources for the tales that he mentions. Knowing that Ink Deskers are sticklers for correct scholarship, I'm posting the sources.» Continue Reading
October 22nd, 2013Crud - Explainedby Kevin O'Brien
My actors and I were once booked to perform at a Catholic Family Camp somewhere in the U.S.» Continue Reading
It was one of the spookiest places I've ever been to. The lack of maintenance was appalling - everything was leaking, badly in need of paint, dreary, run down - truly a Catholic Ghetto in the worst sense of the word. The crew and counselors take vows of celibacy - lay camp counselors taking a vow of celibacy. Doesn't that sound like fun? Kind of like being castrated in order to work at McDonald's.
October 22nd, 2013Shylock the Leprechaunby Joseph Pearce
I'm intrigued by an e-mail I've just received from Brendan King in which he updates me on his research into the Shylock legend. Here are some of his bizarre and surprising discoveries.» Continue Reading
October 22nd, 2013So It’s Come to This…by Dena Hunt
At one time, the Church forbade cremation because it was a pagan rite. I don’t know when that got changed, but it did. Now, it’s okay, and these days, cremation is the favored way to get disposed of. I don’t think the Church had anything to do with that change; after all, I haven’t noticed any overriding concern of the public about what the Church approves of or doesn’t—so it’s just a coincidence. But why is cremation now the favored way?» Continue Reading
October 21st, 2013Racing with the Devil in Santiago de Compostelaby Joseph PearceI'm gratified by the positive appraisal of my conversion story by my friend Angel Luiz in Spain. Those able to read Spanish might enjoy reading it:» Continue Reading
October 21st, 2013The Wandering Joeby Joseph Pearce
Today is my first day back in my home office after four weeks of almost continual travel, during which I have travelled to Rochester NY (Chesterton Conference), Washington DC (TV interviews with Raymond Arroyo and Michael Coren), Phoenix AZ (Diocesan Marriage Conference), Santiago, Chile (teaching and speaking), New Hampshire (teaching at Thomas More College) and Omaha NE (HLI conference on Disability). It's been great speaking and teaching in so many wonderful places but it's nonetheless wonderful to be back at home.» Continue Reading
October 21st, 2013Good Lives of the Saintsby Joseph Pearce
I've received an e-mail from someone asking for recommendations of good lives of the saints. I thought I'd share my response. I'd be interested to receive recommendations from visitors to the Ink Desk, adding to this list.» Continue Reading
October 21st, 2013Hipster Catholics and Eunuchsby Kevin O'Brien
A friend and blog reader writes that he thinks one of the hallmarks of the new "Hipster Catholics" - by which he seems to mean the cool young crunchy "independent music" types who are more or less orthodox (unless a bit of heterodoxy suits them) and who are self-consciously and deliberately "counter cultural" and "independent" in a way that shows how seriously and deeply they really do identify with superficial things - that one of the hallmarks of "Hipster Catholics" is "lack of masculinity". Some of them, he even implies, have an "apostolate", which means they sponge off others while engaging in "ministry". This is kind of like living off Mom, Dad and student loans while getting your second B.A. in Art History at age 30.» Continue Reading
October 20th, 2013The Precision of Abuse - Liturgical and Otherwiseby Kevin O'Brien
Yesterday, on the road again, my actress and I attended a Vigil Mass somewhere in America. It was definitely America, though it may not have been a Mass.» Continue Reading
The priest was a 70-something soft-spoken slow moving effeminate fellow, and the music was all the Bad Stuff, about a dozen of the worst "hymns" played over and over again on piano before Mass even started, kind of like an episode of The Twilight Zone where you're trapped in an elevator with horrible "muzak" and nobody else trapped with you seems to mind or even notice.
October 19th, 2013Lessons from the Devil on God and the Soulby Kevin O'Brien
It's not so much that atheists deny God. It's that they deny the soul, the one thing each of us knows intimately.» Continue Reading
October 17th, 2013The Soul and Sustainabilityby Kevin O'Brien
"The natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure; it is a wondrous work of the Creator containing a ‘grammar’ which sets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation."» Continue Reading
October 16th, 2013No Small Thingby Kevin O'Brien
A theme on my blog recently has been love.A letter written to Rod Dreher is on this topic and includes the following (my emphasis) ...» Continue Reading
October 16th, 2013On Loveby Kevin O'Brien
From an email to my friend, whose birthday was yesterday (mine is today).» Continue Reading
My friend knows my wife Karen and the shock we've had this week, learning Karen has uterine cancer.
I write ...
October 15th, 2013The Love of Beautyby Dena Hunt
A friend sent me the website of a priest in England. Fr. Simon Henry (who has posted here on the Ink Desk before, I believe) recently celebrated the twenty-second anniversary of his ordination and made this post on his own blog:
He talks about how his love of beauty was found suspect when he was in seminary.» Continue Reading
October 14th, 2013Please Pray for my Wife and Meby Kevin O'Brien
We found out today that my wife Karen has uterine cancer.» Continue Reading
She will be getting a hysterectomy, and if the cancer is confined to the uterus, that will cure it. If it's spread, she will need chemo.
Please pray for us!
October 12th, 2013Preview of the November/December Issueby Joseph PearceThe next issue of the St. Austin Review is winging its way to the printers. This issue takes a walk on the dark side, its theme being "Outside is the Night: The Wickedness and Snares of the Devil".Highlights:» Continue Reading