Finding Stable Ground

“Perhaps I speak now with the naiveté and enthusiasm of the convert, but the Church seems to me an institution whose foundations are as strong as iron. The turmoil will pass away; episodes, scandals and debates will come and go; but the line and witness of Peter’s successors will never fail.” Continue Reading »

A Catholic Poet?

The Whole Harmonium: The Life of Wallace Stevensby paul marianisimon & schuster, 496 pages, $30 It was the first great American poem of modern atheism. Wallace Stevens’s “Sunday Morning” (1915) opens with a woman in a peignoir, relaxing in the morning sun with her coffee and oranges. Her . . . . Continue Reading »

Soul of France

In the first pages of We Have Been Friends Together, Raïssa ­Maritain recounts one of her earliest memories. She is five, and her parents have rented a room in their house to a woman who holds classes for young children. She remembers watching this strange woman from afar with hushed reverence: “I heard the multiplication table being repeated . . . and I was overwhelmed with the feeling that here was instruction and knowledge and a truth to be known; and my heart almost burst with the desire to know.” . . . . Continue Reading »