Monday, January 27, 2014

Pence on Santayana's faulty understanding of America

George Santayana, the Harvard professor who died in 1952, failed to appreciate the founding spirit of his adopted country. (Born in Spain, he grew up in Boston.) This essay by Father Longenecker contains a prominent quote by the philosopher.

America was not in any way a secular founding, if secular means atheist or materialist. Our history is unabashed Christian and Protestant; and those sturdy believers trusted, absolutely, in the Living Lord. He was a God concerned with the affairs of public men in cities and nations.

We flourished here because the Founders tilled a garden for free churches. When we planted the oak of the Catholic Church -- she grew incredibly well.  America did not corrupt us... we did that.  But, now, we shall reform ourselves and give God thanks for the USA where the Catholic Church flourishes; and the Spanish Catholic and Anglo Protestant cultures will meet to establish the next great phase of Christendom. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

"Tinúviel! Tinúviel! / He called her by her elvish name"

One of the tales told in the first book of Lord of the Rings (the "Knife in the Dark" chapter) is that of the fairest maiden who ever lived: Lúthien Tinúviel, daughter of a King of the Elves. She falls in love with a mortal man, Beren; rescues him from the dungeons of Sauron; cradles him in his arms when he is slain by the Wolf; and spurns immortality so that she might follow her love.

Mr Tolkien recites the verses here. Also, check out this stirring musical version done more recently.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wagner’s final opera centered on knights, chivalry, and purity


Take a listen for a few minutes to this excerpt from Richard Wagner’s creation of 1882.

And this will get you up to speed about the story (or here).


If you go to the 5:00 mark of this video, you can watch some of the Holy Grail scene.

A comment from a German tenor who recently sang the lead role:
“Every time I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of this music… It really pulls you into this world. Even people who are not religious become religious while hearing this music…
“I had people telling me that this opera makes you understand again why you are a Christian, and they were saying that in the audience the person next to them turned round saying ‘it makes me actually very jealous, I wish I were a Christian like you!’ ”