Ladydale Diary

Saint Paul Miki & Companions, 2021

Once again, my writing of the Diary has been squeezed out of the working week and into the weekend. It’s a few minutes before 5am. As is often the case, I wake up four or five hours after going to bed and cannot get back to sleep. I say my morning prayers and, if I’m still awake after I’ve finished them, I tend to get up and do a few hours work before the rest of the family emerges. A power nap in the late morning or a siesta later in the day will recharge the batteries sufficiently to see me through to bedtime.

The big news this week has been the finishing of my book on the history of Catholic England, which I’ve tentatively entitled, “Faith of Our Fathers: A History of True England”. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, it’s a history of Catholic England from the first to the twenty-first century. At around 95,000 words, it’s the longest book I’ve written for quite a number of years, possibly since I moved to the States almost twenty years ago. In last week’s Diary, I likened the experience of writing it to running a marathon (not that I’ve ever actually run a marathon). There is, therefore, a sense of elation that accompanies the crossing of the finishing line. I’m now reading it through before submitting it to Ignatius Press. I’m happy with it and hope that the folks at Ignatius agree.

My work as Director of Book Publishing at the Augustine Institute has involved my working on two new books that the AI will be co-publishing with Ignatius Press, The Music of Christendom: A History by Susan Treacy and The Art of Living by Edward Sri. These will be published in the summer.

The March/April issue of the St. Austin Review is currently being proofread. It’s a Lenten issue on the theme: “Lenten Illuminations: The Light of the Cross”.

In the course on “Romanticizing the Middle Ages” that I’m currently teaching on Wednesdays for Homeschool Connections, we focused on two wonderful poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson: “Mariana”, which was inspired by a character in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, and “The Lady of Shalott”, a glorious Arthurian fairytale. I plan to read both these poems soon in the Poem of the Week podcast for the Inner Sanctum so be prepared to be delighted by the charm of Tennyson’s evocation of a mystically idyllic past.

The only other teaching I’m doing at present is for Red Cultural (Culture Net) in Chile. Every Friday morning, I connect via Zoom to a very enjoyable group of Chilean students, some of whom I know from my previous trips to Santiago. In the past we’ve discussed four of Shakespeare’s play, as well as Dante’s Divine Comedy. This week I concluded our discussion of The Iliad. This coming Friday we’ll take a break while I travel to Kansas for the Prairie Troubadours Conference and then we’ll commence on a four-week odyssey with The Odyssey itself.

Apart from writing the concluding chapter and epilogue of my book, I’ve also managed to conjure up an essay for the Imaginative Conservative on “Christ Figures in The Lord of the Rings”.

With so much going on, I have hardly left the property this week, apart from a solitary visit to the gym and a couple of hours at the customary local bar to watch Chelsea, the English football club that I have followed since I was seven-years-old, which was a long time ago!

Later this morning, I will record the three weekly podcasts for the Inner Sanctum because these were also squeezed out of the regular week’s schedule. I usually record these on Friday but there’s been too much going on. And then, eventually, I will give my undivided attention to my family.

Wishing all my friends in the Inner Sanctum, a joy-filled and fruitful week….