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Keeping Traditional Observances

“...anyone who carelessly rejects the external traditions or treats them with irony is doing something dangerous.” Josef Pieper "Indeed, modern men, who lack such things, lack sustenance, and our fathers who founded all those ritual observances were very wise."...

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Directing Our Conversation

“Socrates’ own conversation was ever of human matters. Investigating what is pious, what is impious; what is beautiful, what is ugly; what is just, what is unjust; what is prudence, what is madness…

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Grandpa’s Stories at Thanksgiving

“So take refreshment, take your ease in hall, and cheer the time with stories. I’ll begin. Not that I think of naming, far less telling, every feat of that rugged man, Odysseus, but here is something that he dared to do…” Helen of Troy, in Homer, The Odyssey VIDEO,...

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The Gift of Hunting

“Shepherds, ...fishers, and hunters have increase of food spontaneously from nature, not from barter or commerce...Domestic animals are for both the use and the food they provide, and most but not all wild animals are for the sake of food and other uses... Therefore,...

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A House: A Permanent Monument

“A magnificent man will also furnish his house suitably to his wealth, for even a house is a sort of public ornament, and will spend by preference on those works that are lasting, for these are the most beautiful.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics At root wealth always...

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The Falling of Leaves

"The leaves are hardly heard, but they are heard just so much that men also, who are destined at the end to grow glorious and to die, look up and hear them falling." Hilaire Belloc, 'Autumn and the Fall of Leaves' in Hills and the Sea No matter how busy or distracted...

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A Wife: A Good Partner

“My opinion is that when a wife is a good partner in the house, her contribution is just as beneficial as the husband’s. …if both of these jobs are done well the household flourishes; but if they are done badly, households suffer.” Socrates, in Xenophon, The Estate...

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Marital Conversation

“Is there anyone to whom you speak less than to your wife?” Socrates, in Xenophon’s The Estate Manager Thomas Aquinas suggests that spouses ought to have the greatest of friendships. His central reason is that they share in the “whole course of daily life.” In...

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The Sight of Home After Work

“Unburdened of his toilsome mission, Amphitryon welcomed the sight of his own home With the loving eagerness A man welcomes escape from painful illness Or from chains of iron.” Hesiod, The Shield Many of us have to leave our homes to go to work. Even if we would have...

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Those Bygone Workmen

“Those bygone workmen did not serve, they worked. They had an absolute honor, which is honor proper. A chair rung had to be well made. That was an understood thing. That was the first thing. It wasn’t that the chair rung had to be well made for the salary or on...

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Wealth: Seeking Only What’s Needed

“One natural kind of acquiring property is part of household management…and things necessary for life and useful for the household are acquired. They are the elements of true riches; for the amount of property which is needed for a good life is not unlimited.”...

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