Reborn in Wonder: How Belize Re-Taught Me to Love the Liberal Arts

Last August, I moved to Belize to teach humanities at a liberal arts junior college. It would be natural to assume that my decision, coming on the heels of four years of studying history at Hillsdale, arose from my confidence in the value of liberal arts education. That assumption would be wrong. If there’s any message a liberal arts college wants you to believe, it’s … Continue reading Reborn in Wonder: How Belize Re-Taught Me to Love the Liberal Arts

Love and Attention: The Films of Greta Gerwig

In a scene near the beginning of Lady Bird, the heroine argues with her mother on the drive home from visiting colleges. Frustrated by the mundanity of life in 2002 Sacramento, she protests, “I wish I could live through something.” The mother, irritated, replies, “Aren’t you?” The conversation swiftly devolves, ending with Lady Bird throwing herself out of the moving car in dramatic frustration. But … Continue reading Love and Attention: The Films of Greta Gerwig

Things Below: Thoughts on the World and Literature, Part Two of Two

Continued from last issue. O’Connor’s sense of the fantastic nature and Rev. Ames’ wonder at the lovely particularity of creation are, in my experience, unusual among Christians. In fact, it’s rare among people anywhere, no matter their religious perspective. This general inattentiveness to nature’s quiet glories draws the attention of Emerson, for instance, in his book Nature, where, regarding the stars, he writes, “Seen in … Continue reading Things Below: Thoughts on the World and Literature, Part Two of Two

Letter From the Editor, December 2019

William Hazlitt once wrote that the best essayists are those who can “contract or dilate” their attention to see the endless variety in “this huge and proper life,” and then write about it with one stirring quality: gusto. Here, we have a collection of essays with a literary bent—all of them, I am proud to say, written with gusto. Cait Weighner writes about a visit … Continue reading Letter From the Editor, December 2019

Looking into Schedules: Thoughts on Time, Self-Gift, and the Joy of Boundaries

In Rockford, Illinois, a faded, yellow-brick ranch house sits between a large wood and the helicopter pad at the Emergency Unit of Saint Anthony Medical Center. The house, which boasts more paintings and statues of saints than pieces of furniture, serves as a convent for the three Franciscan sisters who work at Saint Anthony’s—one of whom is my biological sister.  While visiting recently, my parents … Continue reading Looking into Schedules: Thoughts on Time, Self-Gift, and the Joy of Boundaries

Things Below: Thoughts on the World and Literature, Part One of Two

When on July 15, 1838, Ralph Waldo Emerson addressed the graduating class of Harvard Divinity School, he didn’t open his remarks as one would expect, by quoting a passage of scripture.  The young men to whom he spoke were, after all, seminarians who had spent their time at Harvard studying the Bible and preparing for a career in the ministry.  We’d assume that the speaker … Continue reading Things Below: Thoughts on the World and Literature, Part One of Two