- Lord Acton, de Tocqueville, and the tension inherent in defining the conservative
- The struggles and successes of an attempt at defining “black conservatism”
- The rationality of belief
- “…the coming-to-the-end-of-things feeling that haunts seasides…”
- In praise of minor literature
The last reading is of particular enjoyment to me, as I’ve found myself in many cases feeling as if I’m the only person on earth who’s read a certain book in some time. These things often do feel like personal and private treasures, and there’s an associated intimacy. Two such books are Robie MacAuley’s The Disguises of Love, which I read just a few weeks ago, and Vernon Lee’s Hortus Vitae: Essays on the Gardening of Life. With some other works, like The Men’s Club by Leonard Micheals, the collected works of James Salter, and the collected works of my beloved Peter Taylor, I feel as if I am a part of an exclusive club, and meeting with others who know those works leads to a sense of joy and comradeship from the opening moments. Minor literature is always something to share, and it is something always enjoyed, loved, and rejoiced in–while major literature normally enjoys its status for a reason, those reasons often lead to appreciation, not outstanding and overwhelming joy. When I design literature courses for my students, I try to include a work of minor literature or two, just for these very reasons.
Today, the Church commemorates the life, the work, and the faithful witness of Silas, a companion of the Apostle Paul and a fellow-worker with the Apostles in spreading the Gospel. He is mentioned extensively in the 15th and 16th chapters of the book of the Acts of the Apostles, as well as a few other places in the New Testament.
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Silas, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the peoples of Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land evengelists and heralds of thy kingdom, that thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
I read a fascinating little Edwardian-era pamphlet on using time responsibly yesterday. It’s something one can read in an hour or so, and it has some real and significant suggestions for its titular subject: How to Live on 24 Hours a Day: