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Epiphany

From the January 2020 Print Edition

He tells himself a tale his grandmother told:Babuschka sleeps by the fire. Outside new snowLaps the window. Camels look in from the cold.Wise-crowned kings—they know her name—say, GoWith us, Babushka. Constellations stare down,Choirs of startled silence. Bolting the door,She stirs her . . . . Continue Reading »

First Sunday

From the December 2019 Print Edition

In Advent, the hermit lights a candle-end,Drips wax onto a saucer, stands it there.The early nightfall forms itself aroundThis little shivering flame. He says his prayer:Stir up Thy power, Lord. Outside, the windHas risen. Rain flicks its fingers at the window.He’s alone. God’s called him to . . . . Continue Reading »

Not Duffers, Won't Drown

From the May 2013 Print Edition

These stories are all about unsupervised children,” my oldest daughter observed years ago, when we were reading Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons books aloud, one after another, books in which—to offer a rough collective plot summary—some children mess about in boats. “How,” my . . . . Continue Reading »

Newman’s Unusual Feast Day

From First Thoughts

Fr. James Martin notes  Newman’s unusual feast day, the anniversary not of Newman’s “entrance into Heaven,” but of his entrance into, as Newman himself put it, “the Church of Christ.” A convert from Anglicanism myself, I find the emphasis on Newman’s . . . . Continue Reading »

The Close of the Day

From First Thoughts

View the Westminster Hall Speech via the Telegraph ’s live blog. From the same blog, a last glimpse of the Pope as night falls on Britain: “Eagle-eyed Pope fans spot Benedict walking up and down in front of the building, rosary beads in hand before retiring for the night.” . . . . Continue Reading »

Terror Plot Against the Pope?

From First Thoughts

Early this morning, London’s Metropolitan Police arrested five men in connection with a possible terror plot aimed at Pope Benedict XVI. The arrests were made at 0545 BST at addresses in London after counter-terrorism officers received intelligence of a potential threat. The five men have been . . . . Continue Reading »

Who Are These People?

From First Thoughts

There are some who now seek to exclude religious belief from public discourse, to privatize it or even to paint it as a threat to equality and liberty. Yet religion is in fact a guarantee of authentic liberty and respect, leading us to look upon every person as a brother or sister. — Pope . . . . Continue Reading »

Foster Child

From the March 2010 Print Edition

Everywhere she goes, he goes. She’s brought him here for Sunday tea. He’s been with me two weeks , she says and deftly shifts him on her knee. The rest of us try not to see the fine blue feed-tube up his nose or how his spine won’t hold him up. She says, I’ve called him Samuel. . . . . Continue Reading »