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Pietas

The words “piety” and “pious” have an archaic ring; moderns find them hard to use without irony or a sneer. Pejorative senses of the words predominate, such as those the Oxford English Dictionary gives for “piety” (“a sanctimonious statement, a commonplace”) and for . . . . Continue Reading »

The Virtue of Prudence

In The Four Cardinal Virtues, Josef Pieper writes, “That is prudent which is in keeping with reality.” Moral principles and good intentions amount to little if pursued blindly. Action on behalf of the good requires accurate perception of concrete ­situations and circumstances. Drawing upon . . . . Continue Reading »

A Moderate Proposal

Faces of Moderation: The Art of Balance in an Age of Extremesby aurelian craiutupenn, 304 pages, $59.95 Everyone is orthodox to himself.” This famous phrase from Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration might aptly be rewritten as “Everyone is moderate to himself.” For who really thinks himself . . . . Continue Reading »

Virtuous Evildoers

At the end of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, Brutus and ­Cassius, the conspirators who had assassinated Caesar, are themselves dead. Brutus has, in fact, fallen upon his sword rather than face capture by the armies of Octavius and Mark Antony. Brutus was bad enough to betray and murder a . . . . Continue Reading »

A Papal Tutor of Heroic Virtue

To teach prayer and holiness to edgy adolescents is no small achievement. To do it under the pressures of a homicidal Nazi Occupation is remarkable. To do it with a future pope means that Jan Tyranowski’s lessons extend far beyond Dębniki and touch the entire world. Continue Reading »

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