VIDEO: J. R. R. Tolkien and The Applicability of Stories

I was honored recently to be a guest on icon carver Jonathan Pageau’s YouTube channel The Symbolic World, discussing how the work of J. R. R. Tolkien is formative for the spiritual life and also my new Amon Sûl podcast, which is all about Tolkien: Enjoy the video, and I hope you’ll also check out Jonathan’s many other videos. It’s really excellent and mind-bending…

New Tolkien Podcast: Amon Sûl from Ancient Faith Radio

If you follow me on social media at all, you’re already aware of this, I’m sure, but just in case you’re one of the folks who follow this blog and not much else, I wanted to let you know about a brand new Ancient Faith Radio podcast that launched today: The Amon Sûl Podcast. Here’s the official description: Join host Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick…

O Dark Dark Dark

Today being the winter solstice, the shortest day here in the northern hemisphere, I thought I would point to this bit from T. S. Eliot that I always think of on this day: O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark, The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant, The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters, The generous patrons of…

“Immensity, cloister’d in thy dear womb”: John Donne on the Annunciation

Students of Renaissance English poetry all get to know John Donne, that 16th/17th century priest and poet who vacillated painfully between whether to remain with the Church of England or to be a Catholic. He also vacillated between a life of devotion and the passions which afflict us all since the Fall. And his poetry reflects all this struggle. To my mind, perhaps his…