The “must-read” list, like the making of books, never ends. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius hardly stands as a newcomer to that list, yet its place has been often overlooked. The Meditations is a classic work of wisdom literature, providing inspiration and endless fodder for reflection and conversation.
Thanksgiving Day joins together friends and family to feast, laugh, and reflect upon the innumerable blessings of God upon each of us; some of the most important ones gathered around the table. And, while for too many, Thanksgiving has morphed into “Turkey Day” – a day to eat too much, fall asleep watching football games they don’t care about, and plan Black Friday shopping – the intentional act of giving thanks is important.
“Now both sexes have melodies and rhythms which of necessity belong to them; and those of women are clearly enough indicated by their natural difference. The grand, and that which tends to courage, may be fairly called manly; but that which inclines to moderation and temperance, may be declared both in law and in ordinary speech to be the more womanly quality.” - Plato, Laws (Book VII)
St. Benedict's Rule advises abbots to seek counsel from the monks under their charge whenever important decisions have to be made. “As often as anything important is to be done in the monastery, the abbot shall call the whole community together and himself explain what the business is; and after hearing the advice of the brothers, let him ponder it and follow what he judges the wiser course” (RB, 3.1).
Peter Leithart’s survey of the Gospels, The Four, models what it means to read Scripture iconically – that is, paying attention to the images, connections, and echoes found throughout. In his chapter on St. John’s gospel, Leithart mentions, almost in passing, that one could view the book as a walk through the tabernacle. And upon close inspection, it seems clear that this is yet one more beautiful thread John weaves throughout his writing.
Right now, most schools are drawing to a close and headmaster needs for next year are known. Students can think of nothing but summer break (bursting through the front doors singing, "Schooooool's out for summer!"), and the teachers feel roughly the same, but more so. For school boards and other governing bodies, however, the work is just beginning. Those searching for headmasters will sort through resumes and CVs, host personal and Skype interviews, hold marathon meetings, and do their best to wisely fill the vacancies of their school. In other words, the search is on!
Walker Percy, in an article entitled, "Questions They Never Asked Me", wrote:
In What Are People For?, Wendell Berry wrote that a poem “may remind poet and reader alike of what is remembered or ought to be remembered – as in elegies, poems of history, love poems, celebrations of nature, poems of praise or worship, or poems as prayers. One of the functions of the music or formality of poetry is to make memorable…”
We are all forgetful people and we live in a land of forgetful people, daily being called to forget all the more. We need poetry.
With that in mind, here are 11 poems every young woman should know.
Homer’s epic poems tell of rage and war, shipwreck and conquest, friendship and home. The Aeneid, Beowulf, The Song of Roland, and more all tell of brave heroes, fierce battles, and even gruesome monsters. Yet, now, in the minds of too many young men, poetry conjures up images of bongos and greeting cards, with sappy verses, and sentimental gushing. Poetry, they think, falls outside the realm of manly pursuits.
In 1789, President George Washington declared that the nation would set aside November 26th as a day of national thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day continues to bring friends and family together in feasting, laughing, and reflecting upon the innumerable blessings God has granted us (including the ones gathered around the table).