The Asceticism of Scrutiny: The Royal Road of Discernment pt. 2

We began this series by underlining the absolute necessity to develop the virtue of discernment in our spiritual lives. According to the St John Cassian and the Fathers he encountered in the deserts of Egypt, discernment is the “mother, the guardian, and the guide of all the virtues.” This may come as a surprise. Perhaps we would imagine another virtue to hold such a high office or maybe we just find ourselves at a loss in regard to the virtues and how they relate to each other. Whatever…

Humility and Gratitude: sine quibus non of the studious mind

“We are not sure we are right until we have made the best case possible for those who are wrong.” Lord Acton We live in an age where people read little, but yet vehemently assert the verity of their own opinions. Debates during the Reformation were bruising affairs. Not only did they demand quick wits, a vast memory, and a comprehension of all the implications of various doctrines and the arguments attendant on them, but it took thick skin and a ready wit. The key thing, however, was…

The Real Red Pill: Orthodoxy and Conspiracy Theories

The origin of the American fixation with conspiracy theories is hard to trace through history.  Perhaps the very fact that our nation emerged from a revolution against its motherland has something to do with this proclivity.  Some historians point to the role of secret societies like the Freemasons in the plot leading up to American independence.  But it is probably true that our founding fathers spent more time meeting in pubs over pints than they did gathering under the cloak of darkness at a masonic lodge.  And although…

St. Moses and the Royal Road

Christians have always needed to decipher and discern the times in which they live. We are told by the Apostle Paul to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). One of the goals of this new blogging effort is to underline the need for discernment in the Christian life. In order to explore this I would like to break down what it means…