Category Archives: Classical Education

The Sacrificial Badge of Mercy

sacrificial badge of mercy

On a cold morning in Rome, a man came to deliver birds to the home of Tiberius Gracchus for use in a religious rite, but the birds refused to be shaken out of the cage. No matter how hard they tried, the birds clung to the side. The oddness of the event crawled under Tiberius […]

How to Be a Good Dictator

How to Be a Good Dictator

How many people would hand over supreme power to return to life as a farmer, tilling fields? How many would trade leading armies for herding animals? Imagine returning home from war as a hero, crowds of people cheering your name, calling you a great conqueror, a savior, throwing flowers at the wheels of your chariot, […]

The Christmas Doctrine

The Christmas Doctrine

As a Christian holy day, Christmas is about one great Christian doctrine: the Incarnation. The first thing to say about this is that the word means what it says. “Incarnation” is a Latinate word that means, literally, “enfleshment”—the act of being made flesh. And the doctrine of the Incarnation—the idea that Jesus was God come […]

What’s The Power of Love?

What's the Power of Love?

 Only one man in history both lived by the pen and literally died by it, all for the sake of defending the freedom of the city he loved. He came from nothing, but ultimately became the greatest orator of the ancient world. That man was Demosthenes: the champion of Athens’ heritage, and the defender […]

Moral Illiteracy and the Case for Character Education

Moral Illiteracy and the Case for Character Education

In After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre observes that in all classical and heroic societies, “the chief means of moral education is the telling of stories.” In a real sense the heroes of the Iliad and the Odyssey were the moral tutors of the Greeks. Likewise Aeneas was the model of heroic piety on which young Romans […]

Reaching for Infinity

Reaching for Infinity

It is the prerogative of the Christian to reach for unreachable things. The Christian teacher seeks to guide others toward a life of virtue. That virtue can be taught, or for that matter, that it cannot be taught, presupposes how our efforts relate to it. What is virtue, then, such that we may strive for […]

Tentatio: A Teacher of Virtue

Tentatio: A Teacher of Virtue

One Latin word encapsulates suffering: tentatio. Wrapped with adversity and affliction, tentatio depicts trial and temptation, the intense internal struggle from the crosses we bear and the crosses we cause others to bear. Tentatio can make us writhe and groan, tremble and doubt. With good reason we pray: “Lead us not into temptation” (ne nos […]

Virtue and Discipline in the Arts

Virtue and Discipline in the Arts

Few people recognize engagement in the arts as an intrinsic element of spiritual virtue. To use the words of Pope John Paul II from his “Letter to Artists,” penned in 1999, [T]rue art has a close affinity with the world of faith, so that, even in situations where culture and the Church are far apart, […]

Ethics Without Virtue

Ethics Without Virtue

What do students in our nation’s schools do all day? Most of them are clearly not spending their time reading the classics, learning math, or studying the physical sciences. It is likely that, along with photography workshops, keeping journals, and perhaps learning about computers, students spend part of their day in moral education classes. But […]

Curing the Disease of the Soul

We all want our children to become virtuous, so we naturally shop around for the schools and communities that have the best results. Upon inspection, however, we find that the graduating classes at even the best schools are not infallibly filled with saints. Parents eventually complain. Teachers complain too. “Perhaps we should include more hard […]