Saturday, May 30, 2015
In our modern society, people like to pride themselves on being hip, cool, and atheist. For some atheists, their parents were atheists. But for others, as they were growing up, their parents did not want to “impose” their belief system (religious or otherwise) on them. Like picking their favorite candies out of a chocolate box, the parents wanted their children to wait until they were old enough to decide which flavor they liked best: Catholic, Methodist or Evangelical. Except handing on the faith is not like picking out the caramel nougat versus the vanilla flavor one. And if they never decide, so be it–except that church weddings are a bit more fancy. Never mind that the parents would be horrified if the child decided to never take a bath or brush his teeth. Never mind that without faith the basis for a value system of right and wrong is always shifting. Why is honesty important? Why should I tell the truth?
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Are you ready for the fight? If you were to enter the boxing ring today, would you be primed? Or are your muscles a little flabby, your lungs easily winded and your feet dragging instead of dancing? Besides you don’t want to break your nose.
Competitive boxers prepare through discipline and hard work. They recognize that only through perseverance, mental fortitude, stamina and skill will they beat their opponent. Their vigorous fitness training includes both physical conditioning and mental preparation. It’s not just the boxer who delivers the explosive punches, hooks, and jabs that wins. It’s the boxer, who outfoxes and outmaneuvers his opponent, mentally and physically, packing the powerful punches and persevering until the end that is declared the winner.
Similarly, before engaging in battle no general worth his 5 stars would ever send a soldier into combat without him first completing the rigorous exercises and tedious drills of boot camp. In addition to forming his soldiers, an astute general recognizes that his enemy is real and he prepares a realistic battle plan.
Think spiritual warfare and you might imagine St. Michael, sword drawn, battling it out with Satan and his minions or the movie The Exorcist with the young girl’s head spinning and voice growling. Cynics may scoff, “Spiritual warfare is just a fairy tale—a Biblical myth to entertain little kids or a sensationalized story of demons and deliverance to create a box office blockbuster.”
The devil, however, is real. As St. Peter tells us, “Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Yes, that someone is you! Definitely, there are times when an exorcist is necessary, but what about you? Are you ready for the fight? Do you have a realistic battle plan to combat the devil in your life?
Are you ready to combat that menacing little voice that taunts you, Catholic Exchange
Monday, January 5, 2015
If I would have chosen that path–which is often tempting on Sunday morning–to just roll over and pull the covers over my head and ignore the chaos and confusion of getting breakfast on the table and everyone dressed, presentable and to church on time, I would have been the one who would have suffered for it, for I would have been the one who would have missed out on friendships that have nudged me–if not catapulted me–in the right direction, the direction of holiness.
I would have been the one who would have missed knowing “x.” No matter how difficult life is she is cheerful, not in a bubbly pop-the-cork champagne way, but in a smiling calmly Mona Lisa way. Her serene demeanor is one that invites the other to unburden the cares and worries of the heart to an empathetic ear.
Her compassionate concern for others brings to life those saint stories of long ago, making them real and not just fairy tales. At the same time, knowing someone who strives to be good and kind offers refreshing hope in a world that seems to have gone bonkers. . . .
Monday, October 20, 2014
This is by no means a definitive list.
I have not read all of these books, so discretion is advised.
Beauty In Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education by Stratford Caldecott
The Case for Classical Christian Education by Douglas Wilson. This author is anti-Catholic, but he does have one chapter that I really like: "The Seven Laws of Learning." Read it from the library.
Christianity and Culture by T. S. Eliot
The Classics and the Man of Letters by T. S. Eliot
Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin by Tracy Lee Simmons
*Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum by Laura M. Bequist
The Devil Knows Latin Why America Needs the Classical Tradition by E. Christian Kopff
The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What it Means to be an Educated Human Being
by Richard Gamble. This is written by a Protestant so some chapters can clearly be skipped. But there are a few that are worthwhile reading. It includes C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, and Christopher Dawson.
The Intellectual Life:Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods by A. G. Sertillanges
The Latin Centered Curriculum: A Home Educators Guide to Classical Education by Andrew A Campbell
Leisure: The Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper
Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education by David V. Hicks
Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope
Socratic Logic: A Logic Text Using Socratic Method, Platonic Questions and Aristotelian Principles
by Peter Kreeft
A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-First Century by Oliver DeMille
The Trivium: The Liberal Artos of Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph
Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom by Victor Davis Hanson
Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. I hesitate to include this book on the list because I don't think the program is realistic and some of the books used are anti-Catholic. But it has contributed to a resurgence of interest in classical education.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Although it is a work of fiction throughout the book the topic of a classical education or what is a good education is touched on again and again.
Why Classical Education? Essay on education at Escondido Tutorial Service.
The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers
Classical Christian Homeschooling More essays on classical education.
* Mother of Divine Grace School
There are also some excellent essays on classical education.
Classically Catholic Memory
Connecting With History
Friday, October 17, 2014
Nada Te Turbe -- A Virtual Choir of Carmelites
Let Nothing Disturb You
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
-- St. Teresa of Avila
Monday, July 28, 2014
On Saturday July 26, 2014 I gave a talk at the IHM Homeschool Conference in Naperville, IL. The topic was Raising a Lifelong Reader. As soon as I am able, I will be posting answers to the questions raised at the conference. Thanks for your patience and understanding. God Bless, Elizabeth