What We’ve Been Reading

I’ve just finished this beautiful little book, The Mother of the Little Flower: Zelie Martin, written by Céline Martin (Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face), the sister of Thérèse of Lisieux. Though quite short, this biography gives a full portrait of an exceptional woman whose greatest desire was to glorify God, even in times extreme suffering. It includes personal anecdotes of her charity and devotion and also supplies excerpts from her letters, in which she never fails to express her gratitude for and trust in God’s unfailing love. Yesterday I began reading Jacques Philippe’s The Way of Trust and Love, which is based on a retreat he gave on Thérèse of Lisieux. He closely examines her writings, explaining her “completely new little way” of spirituality and how one can apply it everyday life. Philippe recommends reading the book “one chapter a day and then taking time to meditate on it, re-reading the quotations in the context of your personal prayer, and asking yourself what light they throw on your own life, what invitations our Lord is making to you through them.” Continue Reading »

Polite Fascism in New Jersey

In the pages of the Times of Trenton on January 20, a psychologist named Ronald J. Coughlin published an op-ed titled “Fundamental Changes Would Better American Society.” Mr. Coughlin is worried about a lot of the right things: alcohol abuse, the divorce rate, childbearing out of wedlock (particularly among teens). But what ideas he has for “fundamental changes”! The idea, for instance, that because science tells us about the maturing brain we ought to raise the drinking age to twenty-five is going to go over big, with an electorate that can vote at eighteen. (Mr. Coughlin may want to change that too, for all I know.) 
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