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.
March 5th, 2014What Hath the Internet Wrought?by Kevin O'Brien
We keep forgetting that we have just a few years experience of this new technology and we are utterly unprepared for how it affects our souls.
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For instance, throughout all of Christian history, if a married man started to spend too much time alone with a single woman, everyone in town would talk and the parish priest would privately admonish both of them. Nowadays they can bare their souls to one another via email, and no one is the wiser - and even if they don't bare their bodies via Skype or sexting, they may have crossed a line without completely realizing what they were doing. I've known people who have fallen into this habit almost unawares. It's like taking a very strong drug that no one has yet figured out is addictive.
March 3rd, 2014Chesterton and the Meaning of Educationby Joseph Pearce
I return to the hot topic of education in my latest article for the Imaginative Conservative:» Continue Reading
March 1st, 2014Shopping Malls, the Beatles and the God of our Desireby Kevin O'Brien
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:4)
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But what are the "desires of your heart"?
For the Westians it's sexual license and an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet. For them and for many quasi-secularists in the Church this beautiful verse from Psalm 37 isn't echoed by Jesus Christ when He says, "I am he who searches hearts and minds" (Rev. 2:23). For them there is nothing to search. Desire is all a sort of biological urge and it's rather superficial, even though we spiritualize it and call even nudism and exhibitionism "Theology of the Body". As I've said before, these pop-culture Catholics fail to see the role of the Cross in the fulfillment of desire; they fail to admit the integration of sacrifice and renunciation into love. Like the secularists that surround us, they ignore the fact that desire is only productive within a very limited channel that God has already dug and laid out for us, and that outside of that channel, it can overwhelm us and the world like Noah's flood.
February 28th, 2014Chesterton’s Nightmareby Joseph Pearce
There's an excellent article on Chesterton's "nightmare", The Man Who was Thursday, by Sean Fitzpatrick in yesterday's Crisis Magazine:» Continue Reading
February 27th, 2014Keeping On Moving Onby Dena Hunt
Continuing this rumination of illusory mobility (Moving On, February 22), I’ve been thinking about the way experience shapes our (stationary) selves. When I lived in Europe, I met a few expatriate Americans, who always interested me. What was it about Germany, about Italy, that made them “at home” there? I took it for granted that some very negative experience of some kind had made them uproot themselves from the entire United States (not just their hometowns), and adopt a foreign country, a foreign culture and people, as their own, but I was usually wrong in this assumption.» Continue Reading
February 26th, 2014When We Go Internationalby Michael Lichens
Your faithful editor and wordsmith has been featured in the Spanish language paper Religion en Libertad, where they also give a shout out to StAR. Pretty nifty, all in all!» Continue Reading
February 25th, 2014The Science of Loveby Kevin O'Brien
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. - (Rev. 2:4)
How to love is the central problem of our lives as Christians. It is a sorely neglected topic.» Continue Reading
Because it is neglected, people like Christopher West are able to say things that they claim are about love, but are simply indications of their own pathology. From his latest newsletter ...
February 25th, 2014With Eliot in The Waste Landby Joseph Pearce
The latest of the interviews that I've given to Kris McGregor on Great Works in Western Literature has just been uploaded. It's a discussion on Eliot's Twentieth Century Masterpiece, "The Waste Land":» Continue Reading
February 25th, 2014The End of Educationby Joseph Pearce
So just how poisonous and dangerous is the government's common core? I give my own view on the matter in my latest piece for the Imaginative Conservative:» Continue Reading
February 25th, 2014The Way of Beauty at Thomas More Collegeby Joseph Pearce
My colleague at Thomas More College, David Clayton, has written an excellent piece about the role of beauty in Catholic education. David is artist-in-residence at TMC, dovetailing with my own position as writer-in-residence. His work is featured in the forthcoming issue of StAR. Here's his article:» Continue Reading
February 24th, 2014The Lion’s Heartby Dena Hunt
I’m very happy to report that a new edition of my second novel will be forthcoming in June from Full Quiver Publishing. The Lion’s Heart is a love story … of a very different kind.» Continue Reading
February 23rd, 2014The Preacher’s Wifeby Kevin O'Brien
The book of Ecclesiastes can elicit many responses. Most moderns love the thing, but it has always struck me as being something that only a bored urbanite could produce. I had some friends before my conversion who were the sort of people the Preacher is in this book - sophisticated to the point of resigned complacency. I mean it takes a certain kind of effete intellectual to produce a work like this; only a certain kind of person could not only say that "all is vanity", but that even the simple things that give us joy, such as eating and drinking and sometimes even working is "vanity". There is nothing new under the sun? Well, who cares when we live in such a world with such a sun!» Continue Reading
February 22nd, 2014God and Puppy Loveby Kevin O'BrienIn Colossians 1:28, St. Paul says
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
I commented a few days ago that "maturity in Christ" is an unheard of concept these days - at least unheard of from the pulpit.» Continue Reading
February 22nd, 2014Moving Onby Dena Hunt
In some movie recently, I heard the expression, “I’ve moved on.” The context was, as you might expect, somebody telling a former lover that he/she no longer matters. (That one should make such a remark to another rather proves the opposite, of course.) It isn’t we who “move on”; it’s whatever that does the moving. We ourselves stand still. We do not move. Often, we wish this were not so, but it is. One sits beside the bed of a dying loved one and is horrified by his own fervent wish that “it” should be “over.”» Continue Reading
February 20th, 2014Mocking Godby Kevin O'Brien
Yesterday I wrote about Bad Theater and Bad Liturgy.» Continue Reading
Today I'm wondering - how did we get here? How did we get to a point where we allow offensive art to be spread around on the streets of our cities, streets where children and families walk?
February 19th, 2014Tolkien the Evangelistby Joseph Pearce
Several people have written to me about a lecture on the web by a Catholic, a priest I believe, who attacks Tolkien's work and attacks me (apparently) for claiming that Tolkien's work is Catholic. I do not have the time or the inclination to listen to the lecture. I will, however, insist that it is Tolkien himself who claims that The Lord of the Rings is "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work". It is also Tolkien himself who states that his Catholic faith can be deduced from his work. My own works on the subject simply seek to show how the work is fundamentally Catholic and how such Catholicism can be deduced from the stories.» Continue Reading
February 19th, 2014Saint Gilbert?by Joseph PearceLast Sunday was the feast of St. Gilbert of Sempringham, fonder of the Gilbertine Order. It is, however, the possible canonisation of another Gilbert, which has been animating much discussion over the past few months. The announcement by the Bishop of Northampton that he was authorizing the opening of the cause to consider Chesterton's possible beatification has caused a good deal of excitement and controversy.Last week I was interviewed by William Doino Jr. about Chesterton's role in my own conversion. Here's the link to his excellent article in First Things:» Continue Reading
February 19th, 2014Bad Theater and Bad Liturgyby Kevin O'Brien
So I'm in Phoenix this week and I was forced to go to a luncheon performance of a play that I had no interest in seeing. It was a One-Act for Black History Month.» Continue Reading
That's right, a luncheon one-act for Black History Month.
Yes, it was as awful as it sounds.
And it's downtown. And the theater is surrounded by hideously ugly statues of naked people frolicking - totally naked men and women, doing a kind of queer "liturgical dance" with their breasts and butts and genitals flying in every direction and captured forever in stop action by the sculptor.
February 16th, 2014Answers to a Soul in Tormentby Kevin O'Brien
A correspondent has written me a long email that is a cry for help from the depths of doubt.» Continue Reading
I will paraphrase some of what this correspondent wrote to me, and give here some of the answers I gave in the email. I hope it helps those of you who may be in a similarly painful position.
February 14th, 2014The Silence of the Lambsby Joseph Pearce
The broken heart of marriage leads to broken-hearted children ...
Here's my latest article for The Imaginative Conservative:» Continue Reading