Ladydale Diary
Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, 2021

This is muscadine season. We have a wild vine growing in what we call the Fairy Wood to the west of our house. Most of the vines are out of reach. Unable to pick most of them when they are ripe, I harvest the fallen grapes every morning after I let out the chickens and ducks. Some of the grapes split as they hit the ground, spilling their fruit; others fall into the poison ivy; the rest (the best) are ripe and firm and ready for fulfilling their destiny.

As I’m the only member of our family who likes muscadines, I am responsible for not squandering the gift of God’s abundance as it makes itself available. At this time of the year, those grapes which don’t disgrace themselves by pouring out their fruit on the naked soil, and those that don’t waste themselves in the intoxicated company of poison ivy, are those pure and worthy grapes that await the consummation of their purpose. These find themselves in a fruit salad bowl every day, in the company of strawberries or bananas or whatever other fruit happens to be on hand, topped with sour cream. This is the parable of the muscadines.

Having read the lesson for the day, let’s talk about what else has happened since Monday, only four days ago, when I wrote the last diary entry.

Having laboured on Labor Day to catch up with the mountainous backlog of work that awaited my return from last week’s travels, I continued to labour on the non-labor day which followed it. Tuesday’s labours included the recording of this week’s FORMED Book Club discussion with Father Fessio and Vivian Dudro of Ignatius Press, continuing our discussion of Chesterton’s best essays. This week, Chesterton waxed wise on the problems of magic and progressivism and we did our best to wax as wise on his waxing wisely.

On Tuesday evening, I spoke at the local chapter of Legatus, the organization of Catholic businessmen, on my conversion from irrational neo-Nazi hatred to the rational love of Jesus Christ.

On Wednesday I began teaching a new course for Homeschool Connections on Belloc’s wonderful work, The Path to Rome. What a pure joy and privilege it will be over the following weeks to walk with Belloc on a pilgrimage to the Eternal City with my homeschooled students. Domine non sum dignus.

On Tuesday or Wednesday (I cannot remember which), I wrote my essays for the Imaginative Conservative and Crisis Magazine on, respectively, “History and Pride” and “Julius Caesar in a Nutshell”, the latter being an encapsulation of the Shakespeare play, not the Roman Emperor who was the play’s inspiration.

Yesterday, bliss of bliss, I was able to continue the writing of my book on the history of Christendom, completing two-thirds of the chapter covering the third century. There’s a long way to go! Having done so, I celebrated at a local restaurant with a couple of friends (a burger and a couple of fine craft ales).

Today, I taught the final session in the course on Jacobean Shakespeare for Red Cultural, a Chilean cultural organization with which I have worked for about fifteen years. I’ll begin teaching my next course for them in October.

Other exciting news includes the signing of a new contract today for a book I’ve written, which is entitled “Great Books: Discovering the Classics”. I’m also very excited by the impending publication of two new books of mine, one being a biography of Benedict XVI and the other a history of “True England”.

It’s now 5:35 on Friday afternoon and I’m ready for the weekend!