Another Week In Review


Your weekly round-up of pieces of note at Fare Forward and elsewhere.


This Week at Fare Forward

Bridging the Word Gap by Leah Libresco

A Bug’s Life by Matthew Messer

Saints and Bureaucrats by Charles Carman


Fare Forward Friends and Writers 

Beware the Leaven of the Pharisees! by E. Milco at Ursus Elisei

What Notre Dame Does Better Than Yale by Margaret Blume at Ethika Politika 

What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk by B.D. McClay at The Hedgehog Review


Other Pieces of Note

A Cause Lost – And Forgotten by Helen Andrews at The University Bookman

Facing God by David Mills at Touchstone Magazine

What Scares the New Atheists by John Gray at The Guardian

Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts by Justin P. McBrayer at The New York Times


Classic Text of the Week

“What will God refuse to prayer that comes from spirit and truth, since such He demands? We read and hear and see how great are the proofs of His power. Even the prayer of the olden times freed men from fire and wild beasts and starvation, and yet it had not received its pattern from Christ. But how much more does Christian prayer work! It does not plant the angel of moisture “in the midst of a fire” or “stop the mouths of lions” or bring country fare to the starving; it turns away no feeling of suffering by the gift of grace, but furnishes sufferers and the victims of intense feeling and pain, with the power to endure; it extends grace to include courage, that faith may know what it is to get from the Lord, realising what it is suffering for God’s name.

But even in past days prayer inflicted scourges, routed the hosts of the enemy, stayed the benefit of rain showers.  Now, however, righteous prayer turns away all the wrath of God, keeps watch in face of the enemy, “begs for the persecutors.”  Is there any wonder that it can wring water from the sky, seeing that it could obtain even fire? Prayer is the only thing that can prevail with God, but Christ willed that it should work no evil. All the power He conferred upon it sprang from good. So it has no power except to recall the souls of the dead from the very way of death, to restore the maimed, to cure the sick, to purge the victims of evil spirits, to open the bars of the prison, to loosen the bonds of the upright. It also washes away sins, drives back temptations, quenches persecutions, consoles the downhearted, cheers the courageous, attends upon the traveller in distant lands, subdues waves, confounds robbers, nourishes the poor, guides the rich, raises the fallen, supports the falling, and upholds them that do stand.

Prayer is a wall for faith, a shield and a weapon against the enemy who watches us from all sides. Therefore let us never go forth unarmed. Let us bethink ourselves of the station by day, and of watching by night. Under the armour of prayer let us guard the standard of our commander, let us in prayer await the angel’s trump. All the angels likewise pray, and every creature, beasts of the field and wild beasts pray and bend the knee, and as they leave the stable or the cave, look up to heaven with no vain utterance, stirring their breath after their own manner. Even the birds as they rise in the morning, wing their way up to heaven, and make an outstretched cross with their wings in place of hands, and utter something that seems a prayer. What more, then, is there to say on the duty of prayer? Even the Lord Himself prayed, to whom be honour and power for ever and ever.”

Tertullian, De Oratione, XXIX (h/t Pater Edmund Waldstein, Latintrans.)

Jose Mena

Jose Mena writes from Maryland. He has served as a web editor for Fare Forward, and his writing has appeared in Fare Forward, as well as in Ethika Politika and the Catholic Herald. He was a co-founder of the Tradinista project and has contributed to the Josias. He tweets @go_oat.