Author

Devin O'Donnell

Devin O’Donnell is the author of The Age of Martha (Classical Academic Press, 2019). He served as Research Editor of Bibliotheca and has taught Literature for 15 years. ​Devin and his family live on the foggy coasts of central California. He is Headmaster of St. Abraham's Classical Christian Academy and is a classical hack, who came up through the manhole covers of learned society to find wisdom. 

Devin O'Donnell Feb 19, 2020

A dialogue with a parent, regarding the practice of confessing sins at Morning Prayer (the form of which is taken from the Book of Common Prayer).

It’s early. Sunlight pours into the riparian valley on which the campus of the classical Christian school sits. The Rhetoric School begins to gather at the doors of the auditorium for their ten-minute liturgy of prayer to start the day. Outside, a parent sees the Headmaster and shares concerns.  

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Devin O'Donnell Jan 30, 2020

In That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis tells the story of Mark Studdock, a servile man who ironically comes to realize his true freedom in the limitation of a jail cell. However unpleasant it may be, we have it on good authority that “being at close quarters with death” can actually be good medicine for the soul, especially for the Christian soul. Like Boethius and greater men before him, Mark Studdock receives a great blessing in his incarceration (as he comes to see later on). But how can jail time confer a blessing?

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Devin O'Donnell Nov 28, 2016

So your students can give the right answers with deference and aplomb. They can promote with articulate clarity the correct worldview. And when they graduate, top of the class, their erudition will no doubt attract the most selective colleges.

But what about their habits and tastes?

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Devin O'Donnell Jul 8, 2016

It’s sometimes easy to smile cynically at the Romantics of the nineteenth century, to dismiss their desire to receive the “greatest delight which the fields and woods minister.” But there were plenty who even over a century ago felt the need to slow down, to go into the woods, “live deliberately,” and “drive life into a corner and reduce it to its lowest terms.” The unbridled desire for things has a cost in any epoch. And when those desires are misguided, it is actually worse, as Boethius suggests, if one should obtain the object of his desire.

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Devin O'Donnell Dec 22, 2015

Before Christ came lowly into Jerusalem and riding on a donkey, he came lowly into the world, born in the manger of a donkey. 

It is Advent now. And nativity scenes display the paradox of Palm 8 on tables and lawns. In that image the cosmos gathers around a baby, where praise and strength are ordained out of the mouth of the infant Christ, where stars shine and angels sing, where men high and low give gifts, and where “all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field” typologically attend the birth of the Lord.

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Devin O'Donnell Dec 3, 2015

It is sometimes overlooked that the New Testament as a whole is largely the work of masterful exegesis. When St. Augustine said that the New Testament is in the Old concealed and that the Old is in the New revealed, it was the finest summary of the interpretive principle that governed its authors. In this sense, the literature of the New Testament owes its creation not simply from divinely inspired writers but from divinely inspired readers.

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Devin O'Donnell Aug 11, 2015

There you are in the parking lot, packing up the car with children and bags from church, as you try to carry on the interrupted conversation that began on the way out, when the question comes, “Where do your kids go to school again?” Your mind races. So many answers. So much to say. And yet the car is running now, the kids are hungry, and you have a minute-thirty to explain the entire history of Western culture from dawn to decadence.

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Devin O'Donnell Jun 9, 2015

“Are you sitting tight? I’m about to give you one hell of a ride.” Perhaps the neurosurgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero did not detect the diabolical irony of this opening statement, as he began his speech on how to transplant a human head in the next two years. While the popular media seems only interested in the plausibility of his claims, most sensible people worry about the ethics. But lurking behind the stunning and almost messianic claims of Dr.

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Devin O'Donnell Mar 2, 2015

“Are you a man or a mouse?” Perhaps C. S. Lewis had that question in mind when gave form and utterance to one of the most regal and noble of beasts in all of Narnia. No doubt when the Lion of Aslan came bounding in to his mental landscape, so too followed gallant Reepicheep, swinging into view like a swashbuckler down from the high mast of his imagination.

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Devin O'Donnell Feb 3, 2015

Remembrance is one of the greatest themes in all of Scripture and the call to remember one of the most constant imperatives. We hear the voice of Hebrew prophets and poets as church bells, echoing across the rolling landscape of holy writ. Repeatedly, the people of God are told not merely to remember God’s words and works but also to retell their countless narratives and imitate their countless deeds. But forming memory requires time. And time is a complex reality.

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