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Books and Art

First Reformed: Hope Without Optimism

August 18, AD2018 0 Comments
First Reformed: Hope Without Optimism

First Reformed, written and directed by Paul Schrader, is, along with The Witch, at the vanguard of a recent renaissance of Calvinist cinema but still engages with themes of interest to Catholic audiences, such as the distinction between hope and optimism, stewardship of Creation, and free will. It tells the story of Reverend Ernst Toller, […]

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Michelangelo Creates Sculptures On His Path To Redemption

June 30, AD2018 0 Comments
Michelangelo Creates Sculptures On His Path To Redemption

Michelangelo sculpted the Vatican Pieta, which is known worldwide and is, perhaps, the most viewed work of art in St. Peter’s church in the Vatican.  Another of his most famous sculptures is his solitary David. Less well known, however, is his Florentine Pieta, which some believe he intended to be placed at his own grave. The artistic and political […]

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Is KonMari for Catholics?

June 29, AD2018 0 Comments
Is KonMari for Catholics?

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Did you know there could be a child prodigy of tidying? As a young girl in Japan, Marie Kondo’s favorite thing to do was to clean and organize the physical spaces around her. Her canvas was her room, […]

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“Infinite Jest” Reaffirms The Power of Confession

May 18, AD2018 0 Comments
“Infinite Jest” Reaffirms The Power of Confession

David Foster Wallace’s book, Infinite Jest, is unique: hilarious and bleak, enlightening and depressing. Wallace tried on two separate occasions to become Catholic but sadly was never baptised. You can feel his striving and yearning, looking for the Truth. Tragically, he killed himself when he was only 46 and we will never know whether he […]

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The Universal Appeal of Jane Austen

May 16, AD2018 0 Comments
The Universal Appeal of Jane Austen

Celebrated Worldwide, Beloved By Millions: Jane Is Everywhere The Jane Austen Circle of Singapore regularly hosts Regency balls and teas at the Old Parliament Arts House. Membership consists largely of octogenarians and nonagenarians— several of them are youngsters, not yet fifty years old You can attend an Austen Festival at the following locations: Bath, England; Canberra […]

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Nihilism, Bodies, and Personhood in Black Mirror

April 19, AD2018 1 Comment
Nihilism, Bodies, and Personhood in Black Mirror

Charlie Brooker’s television series, Black Mirror, now residing at Netflix, has earned notoriety for its examination of how people use and rely on spectacular technological advances – and then suffer for it. There has been some discussion among critics as to whether the series has experienced a decline in quality and whether or not this […]

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Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited and the Chitchat Apostolate

March 21, AD2018 1 Comment
Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited and the Chitchat Apostolate

  Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited, a novel in dramatic form, revolves around a conversation between two men, Black and White, about the existence of God. White is a man in despair whom Black has just prevented from killing himself by jumping in front of an oncoming train. Black takes White home so that he […]

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Where is God’s Will?

March 5, AD2018 5 Comments
Where is God’s Will?

“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done” we pray in the Our Father. “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42), prayed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. For someone seeking to live as a disciple of Christ, finding God’s will for our life is essential. It is something to keep learning about for […]

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How Can Catholics Be Good Art Appreciators?

March 2, AD2018 0 Comments
How Can Catholics Be Good Art Appreciators?

The reason “Christian films” continue to prosper is because they are incredibly effective in winning their target demographic. However – this is the exact reason why they are ineffectual toward any other kind of viewer. This is what makes them “films for Christians” – not “Christian films.” “Films for Christians” are ego-centric forms of entertainment that represents […]

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A Book Launch, Hidden Mystical Power, and the Art of the Impossible: Part 1

February 16, AD2018 0 Comments
A Book Launch, Hidden Mystical Power, and the Art of the Impossible: Part 1

On the 15th February, I had the honour of sharing the launch of my book,  Wisdom from the Christian Mystics with Kevin Grant, former editor-in-chief of the Catholic Universe and MD of the Catholic Herald, at the Athenaeum Club in London. His book ‘More Deeps Further Shallows’ is an engrossing work of poetry that you cannot […]

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The Eroticism of Harrison Lemke’s “Song for St. Valentine”

February 14, AD2018 0 Comments
The Eroticism of Harrison Lemke’s “Song for St. Valentine”

Some counter-cultural attitudes are actually pretty widespread. An obvious example is an attitude towards Hallmark holidays like Valentine’s Day. Shirking the yoke of corporatized romance, chocolates in pink wrappers, and garish cards isn’t exactly an underground movement, whispered about at the margins of society. And Catholics have unique ways of being counter-cultural on this day; […]

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Off the Shelf with Adam Blai: Hauntings, Possessions, and Exorcisms

February 1, AD2018 1 Comment
Off the Shelf with Adam Blai: Hauntings, Possessions, and Exorcisms

Adam Blai (pronounced “Bly”) is a Church-decreed expert on religious demonology and exorcism in the Pittsburgh diocese. He is an auxiliary member of the International Association of Exorcists based in Rome. Over the past decade, he has helped educate priests regarding exorcism at national conferences, seminars, and through consultation on many cases in a number […]

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Pete Socks: From Book Reviews and Podcasts to Full-Time for God

January 30, AD2018 0 Comments
Pete Socks: From Book Reviews and Podcasts to Full-Time for God

Pete Socks, a happily married father of five, converted to the Catholic faith in 1996. After a few years, he found himself simply going through the motions, just trudging to weekly Mass.  God had other plans, though. Pete experienced a reconversion when he stumbled on a book by Father Larry Richards and then attended one of his conferences. It […]

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The Scandal of Forgiveness in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

January 13, AD2018 1 Comment
The Scandal of Forgiveness in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

To be a little simplistic, Martin McDonagh’s films tend to be preoccupied with cycles of violence, in which parties retaliate against each other for the hurts they suffer, drawing others into this cycle until somebody tries to end it by accepting the hurt done to him, or, indeed, turning that violence upon himself. In Bruges […]

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T.S. Eliot and Dreading Christmas

December 23, AD2017 0 Comments
T.S. Eliot and Dreading Christmas

Few people have likely ever been so dismayed by the passing of Christmas as the Magi and the prophet Simeon, as least as the poet T. S. Eliot portrays them. In his poem “Journey of the Magi,” the Magi travel all night through the “worst time of year” with tired camels while missing the comforts […]

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The Masculinity and Mortification of Auden’s St. Joseph

December 16, AD2017 3 Comments
The Masculinity and Mortification of Auden’s St. Joseph

After two millennia, our veneration of Mary might make it somewhat difficult to imagine how St. Joseph might have seen her when he first heard of her pregnancy. Our familiarity with the joy of Christmas obscures the shock and embarrassment of what was surely seen to be a profound betrayal. Even the recounting of St. […]

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The New Demonology, Catholic Theology, and Western Movies

December 11, AD2017 0 Comments
The New Demonology, Catholic Theology, and Western Movies

While many viewers were confused by the movie’s odd mix of pseudo-science and action scenes, the core of the movie lies in a whole other realm: It is about the Luciferian philosophy of the occult elite and its futuristic pendant, transhumanism. (“Lucy”: A Movie About Luciferian Philosophy. The Vigilant Citizen. February 2015) Movies About the […]

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Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor: Blessed are Those Who Mourn

December 4, AD2017 2 Comments
Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor: Blessed are Those Who Mourn

Actions produce consequences which produce new worlds, and they’re all different. Where the bodies are buried in the desert, that is a certain world, where the bodies are left to simply evolve, that is another. And all these worlds, heretofore unknown to us, they must have always been there, have they not? The Counselor, written […]

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Book Review: Mike Aquilina’s “The Healing Imperative”

November 20, AD2017 0 Comments
Book Review: Mike Aquilina’s “The Healing Imperative”

Mike Aquilina is one of the most prolific Catholic authors today, having churned out over fifty books as well as numerous essays and articles. The title of his latest book is The Healing Imperative: The Early Church and the Invention of Medicine as We Know It (Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing, $18.95). In this slim […]

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Eat, Drink And Be Merry

November 10, AD2017 0 Comments
Eat, Drink And Be Merry

Eat Drink And Be Merry Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. There are several places in holy Scripture where this sentiment is expressed. The one that has been bouncing around my mind since I heard it at Sunday Mass a few weeks ago pertains to the parable of the rich man who […]

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Beauty: An Abundant, Impractical Encounter With God

November 2, AD2017 0 Comments
Beauty: An Abundant, Impractical Encounter With God

Being raised on a farm in rural South Dakota, I believe I understood simplicity and solitude from a young age. While my friends in town spent their summers together at the pool or on adventures, my summers were quieter, filled with reading and finding entertainment with my younger sister. Oddly, the beauty of where I […]

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The Poetry of Molly McCully Brown: A Theology of Broken Bodies

October 30, AD2017 1 Comment
The Poetry of Molly McCully Brown: A Theology of Broken Bodies

Molly McCully Brown‘s The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded is a magnificent collection of poems, depicting the experiences of profoundly disabled persons who, shunned by mainstream society, are institutionalized and hidden from view. These are people whose bodies fail them so thoroughly they seem less than human. For Brown, these profound disabilities reveal how […]

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Seeking Jesus: An Interview with Author Julie Davis

October 3, AD2017 0 Comments
Seeking Jesus: An Interview with Author Julie Davis

We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it. – Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water In her second […]

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A Baby’s Corpse: The Disingenuous Eucharist of “mother!”

October 2, AD2017 1 Comment
A Baby’s Corpse: The Disingenuous Eucharist of “mother!”

Darren Aronofsky’s film mother! starts out well enough, making masterful use of its setting and cinematography and centring on stellar performances from Jennifer Lawrence as Mother and Javier Bardem as her husband Him, a writer. And then it falls apart, climaxing with a woefully trite parody of the Mass, particularly as it is connected to […]

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