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How Nature Provides for Us

“Therefore nature, if it produces nothing incomplete or in vain, necessarily has done all these things for the sake of human beings.” Aristotle, Politics What are ‘all these things’ of which Aristotle speaks here that nature has done? By the order of nature plants...

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Like a Good Shoemaker

“For the man who is truly good and wise, we think, bears all the chances of life becomingly and always makes the best of circumstances…as a good shoemaker makes the best shoes out of the hides that are given him, and so with all other craftsmen.” Aristotle,...

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Being a Man, or Woman, by Nature

“Thus the nature both of the man and of the woman has been preordained by the will of heaven to live a common life. For they are distinguished in that the powers which they possess are not applicable to purposes in all cases identical, but in some respects their...

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Finding Pleasure in Our Work

“…the foundations of society were never yet shaken as they are at this day. It is not that men are ill fed, but that they have no pleasure in the work by which they make their bread, and therefore look to wealth as the only means of pleasure.” John Ruskin, ‘The Nature...

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Cleaving the Earth with a Plow

“The farmer cleaves the earth with his curved plow. This is his yearlong work, thus he sustains His homeland, thus his little grandchildren, His herds and trusty bullocks. Never a pause!” Virgil, The Georgics A man puts a plow in the earth. Behind a horse. He knows...

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How We Were Raised–And the Difference It Makes

“It makes no small difference, then, whether we form habits of one kind or of another from our very youth; it makes a very great difference, or rather all the difference.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics G.K. Chesterton said that either way you fall off a tight rope,...

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Thinking About Death–for the Sake of Life

“To hold aloof from death is to cheat oneself of the profoundest insight into one’s own personal reality.” Josef Pieper, Death and Immortality At issue for me is my avoidance behavior. Though in my mind I am convinced that I should think about my death, I really...

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Thinking About Death

“We must make ready for death before we make ready for life.” Seneca When I decided to share a quote on death this week, I didn’t think it would be such an occasion for self-examination. There are some who spend time thinking about death because of an obsession with...

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The Secret of the Marriage Bed

Penelope: “If really he is Odysseus, truly home, beyond all doubt we two shall know each other …. There are secret signs we know, we two.” … Odysseus: “There is our pact and pledge, our secret sign, built into that bed—my handiwork and no one else’s! An old trunk of...

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When a Daughter Gets Married

“When a festival goes as it should, men receive something that it is not in human power to give.” “In celebrating festivals festively, man passes beyond the barriers of this present life on earth.” Josef Pieper, In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity I think I...

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A Patriotism to Cultivate

“For even if the end is the same for a single man and for a state, that of the state seems at all events something greater and more complete whether to attain or to preserve; though it is worthwhile to attain the end merely for one man, it is finer and more godlike to...

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Seeking Out Beautiful Things

“Beautiful art can only be produced by people who have beautiful things about them, and leisure to look at them.” John Ruskin Beauty has a unique place in human life. One of the most fascinating aspects of beauty is how there are different kinds of it. There is the...

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