Thursday, May 3, 2007

Catholic Great Books Study Series

While surfing today, I came across a great-looking high-school resource from Catholic Heritage Curriculum, a home schooling company. They have created book and study guide packets to guide students through great Catholic books. Packets are available for Chesterton's poems Lepanto and The Ballad of the White Horse, Hilaire Belloc's Path to Rome, T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral, and others. The resources are designed with an introduction to the author, a discussion of literary elements, questions and exercises, an answer key, and teacher's resources.

In her classic on speechwriting, Simply Speaking, Peggy Noonan stressed that you write your best speeches when you are reading great speeches. Analogously, you will write great books and poems when you are reading great books and poems. Self-study is an essential part of the writing life. Even if you are fifty-five, a well-designed book and study guide can improve your understanding of great ideas, great literary forms, and great authors.

Each of us writers can find areas of literature into which we have never delved. Why not use a study guide to assist in the exciting discoveries involved in the literary life?

Hopefully Catholic Heritage Books will continue to make additional volumes available in this series. It is a great idea.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May 1st: Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

Today is one of many Church feast days dedicated to St. Joseph. It celebrates St. Joseph the Worker, the carpenter and humble artisan to whom God entrusted his Son and Our Lady.

On another feast day of St. Joseph, March 19, 1997, John Paul II spoke the following words on the subject of work:

The Church reminds all who attempt to assert the predominance of technology, thereby reducing man to a "product" or a means of production, that "man is the subject of work," since in the divine plan "work is 'for man'" and not man 'for work.'"

Have a wonderful Tuesday, and don't get too frazzled at work!