Pre-Christian Infusion: Faith. Hope and Charity in The Lord of the Rings

David Rozema

In the Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas distinguishes the four cardinal moral virtues of fortitude, temperance, wisdom, and justice from the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love (charity). He maintains that the moral virtues of fortitude, temperance, wisdom, and justice are virtues only in “a restricted sense”: they bring only a “natural happiness.” But the very same moral virtues can be a part of a “supernatural happiness” if the practice of them is supported by the theological virtues. So a person may possess the moral virtues of fortitude, temperance, wisdom, and justice without possessing the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, but that person’s moral virtue will be imperfect. [Read more…]

To Ithaca

Gabriel Olearnik

It is the Silver City. It cannot be visited.
Season of the Mists

It is the Silver City. But it is not made of silver
silver would have frozen to grey ash
silver would have burned to grey ash
silver is too febrile an element
to bear the fever of feral stars
and we would never have made harbor. [Read more...]

Book Review: Ignatius Critical Editions

Ignatius Critical Editions
Edited by Joseph Pearce

Hamlet (William Shakespeare)
312 pp., $12.95, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-586-17261-9

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
596 pp., $12.95, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-586-17263-3

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)
365 pp., $12.95, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-586-17262-6

Reviewed by Eleanor Bourg Donlon

Is Hamlet so rampant with bawdy jokes that it is simply a very long, very dirty “shaggy dog story”? [Read more…]

Our Father

Joseph O’Brien

His head is weathered to the rain-greyed granite you can find
Bald and cropping the turf on any old Irish hillside. His eyes, in kind,
Are as hazel as the bay of Galway’s own self.

His smile, though, is straight from a Hoboken bar,
Arresting you with the no-nonsense laugh a Jersey City cop lives for 
As he asks you, almost prayerfully, to put up your hands. [Read more...]

Irish Wake

Joseph O’Brien

for Patrick Slattery

And with the clashing of their sword-blades make A rapturous music, till the morning break...
--W.B. Yeats

We’re a nation of all talk, recording
The story of our blood, registering
Our complaints against Land, Lord and Love
According to the latest government,
Counting past grudges and future graces 
On our beads and in our pews as from the isles. [Read more...]

The Game of Sean McTeague

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

Sean McTeague was the sort of fellow who used righteous anger for everyday occasions. Had he lived in epic times, Sean McTeague certainly would have been an epic hero…or perhaps an epic villain. The trouble with epic times is that the difference between heroes and villains is sometimes rather vague. Take Achilles, for example–a more sorry excuse for a human being has never lived. One treasures the knowledge of his heel and waits with bated breath for the moment when someone will have the inspiration to tap the blighter’s hamstring. [Read more…]


J.B. Toner

This vale, tsunami-wracked and deluge-filled,
A rocking isthmus ringed with roiling foam,
And huddled under sobbing heavens’ gloam,
Where arks and barks beneath the dark we build,
To fare on tear-seas over earths we tilled
In warmer days before our sunlit home
Was swallowed up to lie with salted bones
Far, far below the stormclouds stirred and spilled—
Charybdis-whirling, roaring, plunging, curled
By moon-pull in a towering lonely tide,
This watered globe, this sorrow-soaking world: [Read more…]


Enrique García Máiquez

Translated by David Alexander

To the 498 Spanish martyrs of the 1930s and all those who suffered religious persecution during the 20th century.

The militia men shoved him out of his house, ready to make him the 499th martyr for some future beatification. Don Bartolomé let himself be pushed along, knowing that he had few hopes. Just the same as always. When he discovered that the leader of the so-called Death Squadron was Manolito–the kid from las Tejas–he thought maybe all was not lost. He had been Manolito’s teacher in the town’s school and he knew well that the boy’s brute force was matched only by his pride. [Read more…]


Sarah Gajkowski-Hill

and we were supposed to recognize this dank silhouette:
He--mottled, knotted, screaming
shrugged into a lice and tick-eaten rag,
wrapped tightly in her unwashed hair?

light emanated from his bare footsteps
his progress spreading a dim glow miles around,
energy prompting boats he stood on to push themselves
into the middle of lakes [Read more...]