Ladydale Diary
Saint Margaret Ward, 2021

For the first time in goodness knows how long (and we can be sure that Goodness Himself does know how long!), I’ve not managed to supply a weekly Diary entry for my friends in the Inner Sanctum. I apologize, therefore, for my tardiness and am sending this at my earliest opportunity, which is three days later than scheduled.

The main reason for the delay is simply that I managed to set aside one-and-a-half days last week for the writing of the book on which I’m currently working (a history of Christendom) which had stalled due to the multifarious other commitments with which I’m struggling manfully, but not always successfully. This next manuscript is due to be delivered to the publisher by the end of the year and it’s becoming a bit of a race. I had thought, or hoped, that I would still have time to do everything for the Inner Sanctum on Friday afternoon but time conquered me. I did manage to record all three podcasts on Friday and worked until almost midnight to post them to the site.

Apart from the 4,000 words of the book that I managed to write, I also wrote my weekly essay for the Imaginative Conservative. This is entitled “Laughter and the Love of God”, the link to which can be found in the “Thoughts from Home and Abroad” blog on this site.

I gave three radio interviews last week. On Wednesday morning I was a guest on Archangel Radio to discuss The Merchant of Venice, based on my essay on the play for Crisis Magazine, and on Wednesday afternoon I was a guest on the Crusade Channel to discuss Chesterton, politics and localism. Then, on Friday morning, I gave my regular weekly interview for the Son Rise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio. We’re in the midst of a season in which I read and discuss “poems every Catholic should know”, using my book of that title as our text. This week I read and discussed “The Passionate Man’s Pilgrimage” by Sir Walter Raleigh, which was probably written on the eve of what he thought would be his execution. (He received a last-minute reprieve.)

On Wednesday afternoon, the FORMED Book Club resumed after our summer break, in which I continued the discussion of In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G. K. Chesterton with my co-hosts, Father Fessio and Vivian Dudro.

On Thursday evening I gave a talk at the launch of a campaign to open a Catholic Information Center in downtown Greenville SC, which is around 20 miles north of us. My own brief talk preceded the keynote address by the Bishop of Charleston.

On Friday morning I taught the latest of the online classes for Red Cultural in Chile. Continuing the course on Jacobean Shakespeare, I lectured on Antony and Cleopatra.

On Friday evening I enjoyed a good meal with a friend at a local seafood restaurant: raw oysters, fried calamari and steamed mussels, washed down with a couple of craft IPAs.

The sad news domestically this week is the loss of one of our roosters who simply disappeared. Missing presumed dead.

Happier news relates to the two families of deer that are making daily appearances. There’s a mother and two fawns, and another mother with a single fawn. We’re also receiving regular visits from a couple of wild turkeys.

Susannah has been trying (so far unsuccessfully) to interest the birds, squirrels and chipmunks in the leftover popcorn from the movie night that Evangeline had with friends on Saturday evening.

And finally a brief word on today’s saint, Margaret Ward, who is one of the three women canonized amongst the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, the other two being Margaret Clitherow and Anne Line. The courage of these indomitable ladies of faith is a timeless source of comfort and encouragement. Indeed it is truly a glorious blessing that the courage of others encourages us. May these three ladies of faith pray for us that we might be as strong and unflinching in the defence of the Faith as they were. Amen.

The photograph illustrating this week’s Diary was taken during a visit to Chile several years ago.