Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

The New Liturgies

"There's very little left in their society to feed their innate sense of ceremony, so it just withers and dies. In some of them, it's so dead that if they ever did happen on a great liturgy, they'd hate it. In others, the sense is dormant, so we have to be sure it's never fed. That's why so much effort has gone into fostering fear of the Latin Mass, Gregorian chant, Palestrina, and the old hymns, and why we didn't rest till we got the Anglicans to revise their Book of Common Prayer. (Be sure to do all you can to discourage any connection or reunion there: We certainly don't want millions of Catholics using that old masterpiece!)

We've made religious ceremony seem embarrassing to them by making their liturgy sound "churchy" without sounding sacred. The old liturgy sounded sacred without sounding churchy; naturally sacred and not embarrassingly churchy; not sissified but strong and proud and high and holy. Now, it sounds weak and embarrassed and flat and secular."
-From The Snakebite Letters by Peter Kreeft