REVIEW: Mine Were of Trouble – Peter Kemp (1957; Mystery Grove Publishing, 2020)

From the stony soil of the Sierra Palomera to the comfortable bed in the Gran Hotel at Zaragoza was the sort of sudden change that we came to accept as natural during the Civil War.

By about Chapter Three of Peter Kemp’s Mine Were of Trouble, you start to get a grasp of how surreal an experience the Spanish Civil War really was. Kemp, an Englishman who served for the Nationalists during the war, described his experiences in the form of a retrospective memoir written and published in the 1950s. Part historical survey, part experiential retelling, Mine Were of Trouble stands as one of the few works in English that describes the international fighters, politics, and events of the Nationalist coalition first-hand. Continue reading “REVIEW: Mine Were of Trouble – Peter Kemp (1957; Mystery Grove Publishing, 2020)”

REVIEW: Catholic Republic – Timothy Gordon (Sophia Institute Press, 2019)

There are some books you get knowing ahead of time that you’re going to disagree with their theses, but they end up being worth the investment because they’re thoughtful, reasoned explorations of contrary viewpoints. Sometimes you get them to have a laugh, because you know the writer’s a performance artist and it’s all some sort of Andy Kaufman-style joke. And sometimes, you reach an intellectual dead end, and think hey, maybe this contrarian take can point me in a better direction! Sometimes you’re able to get what you paid for, and it all works out. Continue reading “REVIEW: Catholic Republic – Timothy Gordon (Sophia Institute Press, 2019)”

REVIEW: My Prayer Book – Rev. Father F. X. Lasance (1908)

We return again to the work of Father Lasance, continuing our romp through the material of his available in English print. You can find here linked my reviews for Fr. Lasance’s missal and his longer Blessed Sacrament Prayer Book, both of which I highly recommend. My Prayer Book, assembled by Fr Lasance more than a century ago, differs from the larger and more broadly-scoped Blessed Sacrament volume in a number of ways, which we’ll get into below. All in all, however, I do recommend My Prayer Book, though with caveats. Continue reading “REVIEW: My Prayer Book – Rev. Father F. X. Lasance (1908)”

REVIEW: The Age of Entitlement – Christopher Caldwell (Simon & Schuster, 2020)

It’s 2020. We know that America has deep, possibly irreconcilable divisions across moral lines that they’ve severed families. We saw in 2016 that these divisions were not drawn according to political party affiliation, either, as the Republican presidential candidate, propelled into office by shrewd campaigning and a legitimate grassroots support, was hated by his own party for being, among other things, too nationalist. We’re seeing this again this year, as the DNC melts down—again—in order to rally behind a guy so mentally fatigued that he has trouble completing sentences. That said, of course, it’s difficult to observe the trends of the last administration, and the behavior of the opposition party under this one, and not think that our political betters are playing by two different rule books. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Age of Entitlement – Christopher Caldwell (Simon & Schuster, 2020)”

REVIEW: The Fr. Lasance Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook [Revisited]

Last year, I reviewed the Blessed Sacrament Prayer Book of Father Lasance, an exhaustive collection of prayers, meditations, and ejaculations compiled by the scholarly priest during his relatively brief time on Earth. I had only just purchased the book at the time and had yet to familiarize myself with its contents, so the review was brief and limited to immediate concerns like readability, size, and general points of note. But a year has passed, and the familiarity I lacked has manifested over a near-daily use of the volume. So here’s the short version of the review:

Get it. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Fr. Lasance Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook [Revisited]”

REVIEW: Infiltration – Dr. Taylor Marshall (Sophia Institute Press, 2019)

It’s not often that I come across a book with about two-hundred fifty pages of content that includes an index and fifty pages of appendices, but that’s what I found I’d ordered when Dr. Taylor Marshall’s Infiltration arrived in the mail last week. It’s a short and very easily-read book, taking only about an afternoon and some change to read through from cover to cover, yet in it, Marshall attempts to tackle the history of the liturgical subversion so rampant in the Church today. Continue reading “REVIEW: Infiltration – Dr. Taylor Marshall (Sophia Institute Press, 2019)”

REVIEW: Jordanetics – Vox Day (Castalia House, 2018)

When a professor of psychology at a state-funded university skyrockets into popularity by publicly denouncing a national policy regarding preferred pronouns, he does what most of us would presume to be is career suicide. Even tenured professors have felt the heat from the ardent defenders of political correctness, perhaps even more so now than when Jordan Peterson went viral a few years ago. And in his apparently firm, resolute denunciation, he seemed to be standing on all the same values that commentators just to the right of center have been advocating for in the US for years: liberty, individualism, free speech, et cetera. Continue reading “REVIEW: Jordanetics – Vox Day (Castalia House, 2018)”

Spotlight: Sayings of the Desert Fathers

When someone utters the term “Christian monasticism,” the Western mind probably conjures up images of dimly-lit temples and Gothic architecture, candles illuminating monks in brown robes as they transcribe ancient texts into medieval tomes, Gregorian chants, and the occasional pillaging and burning by Vikings. While this describes an important aspect of Catholic monasticism during the middle ages, the Christian tradition monks serving God in secluded hermitages extends as far back as at least the third century, beginning in the Egyptian desert west of the Nile and some ways northwest of Memphis. The establishment of Nitria, Kellia, and perhaps most noteworthy, Scetis, marked the beginning of Christian asceticism that, in various forms, has endured even into today. Continue reading “Spotlight: Sayings of the Desert Fathers”

REVIEW: The Blessed Sacrament Prayer Book of Father Lasance

Last week, we looked at the recently reprinted missal of the Latin Mass that was put together back in 1945 by Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance. I hope to do a post at some point in the future on the life of Fr. Lasance, but for now, we’ll continue reviewing some of his works readily available in English. Today, we’re looking at the largest prayer book he ever assembled, which came to be known as his Blessed Sacrament Prayer Book. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Blessed Sacrament Prayer Book of Father Lasance”

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