Image: Caspar David Friedrich, Monk by the Seashore. Homesick for Heaven

I recently came across a line by Samuel Johnson that struck me as having a particular relevance to Dominican friars: “A man unconnected is at home everywhere; unless he may be said to be at home nowhere.” As mendicants, we are “unconnected” to a place; we give up a stable home for the sake of serving the Church. But Johnson’s statement holds... [Read more...]

Image: Nicolas Poussin, Et in Arcadia ego. Remember Death

We are all going to die. We were reminded of this on Ash Wednesday when the priest put ashes on our heads saying, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We need to be reminded about the reality of our death because we forget so easily. Our culture desensitizes us to the fact of dying. It makes death seem so commonplace as to... [Read more...]

Andrej Rublëv, Angels at Mamre (Holy Trinity) The Presence of God

Homes are not beautiful if they are empty. Things are beautiful by the presence of God. —St. Thomas Aquinas on Psalm 25 So many today never think of God, and some, even when they do think of God, consider him only as a puppet-master, a policeman, or a watchmaker. But God is much more marvelous than these little ideas, more wonderful than can be captured... [Read more...]

Prepare a Home

Man seeks to dwell. There’s even a magazine dedicated to it. We want some place to identify as home. And we don’t just want any old four walls and a floor. We want an architecturally pleasing place. And then we want to decorate it: find a color scheme that works for the walls, hang paintings, hang pictures, install some wainscoting, find rugs that... [Read more...]