The Dove Looked In

Matthew Alderman

Vita Nuova, xxvi

I saw faded beauty once
Pass me by in a gallery of stippled Seurats:
Maybe she was an English teacher,
A soccer mom in homely new white sneakers,
A nurse in jade-green scrubs.
You would have never called her pretty,
Nor stopped, admiringly at a distance,
Draping a chaste lechery in classical garb with the wan
Affectations of swooning lovers,
And bothered to notice her. [Read more…]

The Red Door Society

Clay Reherman

To many, the phrase “hard times in America” brings to mind stark images of the 1930s: Ecological and economic disaster, powerful storms following close upon one another, high crime, starvation, despair, societal depression in every imaginable degree and mode. We may thank Mr. Steinbeck for this mental association: His painting of the “dust bowl days” in The Grapes of Wrath has imbued three generations with a notion of what it’s like when a nation is visited by the Angel of Death.

1934

Most Americans in those days had an idea that a sentence of doom could be carried out from above, below, or somewhere. While the 1920s had been exceedingly prosperous and “liberating” to most classes of people, there was still an honest fear of God left in this country: Like a thief in the night, the Angel of Death snuck up on folks, and even a proud craftsman like Garv Atwood could be left holding the bag.
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I Am

Terence Siren

I am an Artist
A Poet
A Prodigal Preacher
A Wanderer
A Pilgrim
I am a Truth Seeker

A Hopeful Romantic
A Lover
A Fool
Ever toeing the line between Foolish and Cool

[Read more…]

Fragments, for Mary

Ben LaVergne

I. What woman could bind
Death’s bane to flesh,
What mother dare
Her God to mortal;
What womb would bear
That mortal fare?

II. The purging flame
Burns in the bush–
The fertile virgin
Child-bearing,
In consummation
Unconsuming. [Read more…]

Daylight

J.B. Toner

The sun!  A million bird-hymns split the skies,
    His crimson halo sanctifies the peaks,
    Flings green on grass and blue on babbling creeks,
The violets open dew-bespangled eyes,
The shadows spring away in swift surprise,
    Bright clouds rush outwards, galleons white and sleek,
    A merry day his golden beams bespeak,
And azure oriflammes proclaim his rise. [Read more...]

The Agony

Joseph Prever

In the hour of darkness the moon had hid her face,
And all the world was sleeping, save one who wept.
He left the meager comfort of well-meaning friends,
Charging them, Watch; and into the garden crept,

[Read more…]

The Egg

Matthew Crane

There is an oblong thing.
Its white by candle yellow.

Inside, unseen innards
can goosh and grow and mix
a dash life- color, and down
in sticky strands to fluff
and feather flower forth,
a chicken, not an omelet [Read more…]

Home Thoughts from Abroad

Joseph Pearce 

O to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!

-Robert Browning
(Home-thoughts, from Abroad)

O to be in England …

Sometimes, when Time permits moments of quiet recollection amidst the breathlessly frenetic flow of daily life, I find myself sharing Robert Browning’s sentimental yearning for his native land. I, too, am an Englishman, and I, too, am in exile. A happy exile, perhaps, but an exile nonetheless. And although America has been good to me, and my American friends a veritable delight, the heart still, occasionally, leaps across the Atlantic to the familiar things of home.

[Read more…]

Aborting Metaphysics

John Di Camillo

The abortion debate has become mired in confusion over the interpretation of science. Abortion advocates have generated much of this confusion in two ways: first, they assert that science is on their side through their reduction of an unborn child in early developmental stages to “a few cells” or simply “fetal tissue” that is not yet a human being; second, they deny the validity of a religiously inspired stance as anti-science and based on unprovable, dogmatic metaphysics.

The proposition that science supports abortion is inherently flawed because science in and of itself is incapable of making moral judgments. It is objective, empirical, and non-partisan. Experimentation and scientific results present us with fact, not ethical analysis. Science forms the raw material upon which decisions of acceptability must be made: the fact that a biological human being during its developmental process consists of only a bundle of cells—only a single cell at its beginning point!—does not tell us whether we can justifiably destroy him or her during that phase. This requires ontology: a metaphysical analysis of the nature of a human being and what constitutes life.

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Cloistered Conversations

Jessica Hoelzer

“Inner silence, Mother. I struggle with inner silence.” I shudder as I always do when confessing my weaknesses. My Mother Superior responds with a grave nod of her head.

“A common admission, most often from novices and young postulants. But you have been here almost eleven years. Has your heart always struggled like this, or is it one of those regresses we often encounter on this long walk with our Savior?” She speaks, as she always does, with a sincere desire to be of service, but the solemnity in her tone betrays the gravity of her question. My eyes stray to the familiar furnishing of Mother Olivia’s office. Wooden bookcases line the walls, but they are not packed and overflowing like those of a library. Instead, each shelf is filled only halfway with books or file folders. The other half lies in wait, expectant. Her desk is made of the same color wood and is empty except for my file, a Bible, and a small glass dove, a reminder of her patron saint, whose spirit returned to heaven in the form of a dove. An icon of peace.

I know the answer to her question, but I don’t know how to express it. There isn’t a one or two word response to describe my feelings, and I cannot find my voice. After living by the rule of silence for so long, my vocal responses are limited to the Liturgy of the Hours, Mass, and Confession. I finger the wooden beads of my Rosary inside the folds of my cream colored habit, searching for words.

[Read more…]