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Among books of spiritual direction, that are short, and in English, my favourite is probably The Cloud of Unknowing — written in Chaucer’s day by some anonymous cleric, perhaps a Carthusian. He is not without personality, so that once we notice it we realize that a second treatise, The Book...

My head is full of Shakespeare Sonnets at the moment, from trying to teach this author to startlingly intelligent and perceptive young seminarians. The poet’s allusions to the ruined monasteries that punctuate the Tudor countryside are … poignant at the least. The Sonnets were published late in Shakespeare’s career (1609) —...

Funeral Mass of Michael Novak (1933-2017), Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Washington, D.C 25 February 2017 Homilist: Fr Derek Cross, of the Toronto Oratory Isaiah 53:1-6 Psalm 104 1 John 4:7-12, 15-20 John 14:15-31 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?”—words from...

This business of Shakespeare being Catholic — in thought word and deed, though subtle enough to avoid getting drawn and quartered — flourishes in each examination of detail. Here is a specimen for a day on which I have “nothing more to say,” or to do for that matter, beyond...

I have the grimmest memories of being taught Shakespeare. It happened in a high school in Ontario in the ’sixties. I’m sure that my teacher meant well. It was on the curriculum, and what could she do? It started with Romeo and Juliet, in connexion with which we were taken...