Tag: in memoriam

Rest in Peace, Alice von Hildebrand


I don’t know how many people here know of Alice von Hildebrand. She’s probably better known as the wife of the more famous 20th-century philosopher, Dietrich von Hildebrand, but she was a philosopher in her own right. She taught at Hunter College in New York City where, in an age of relativism and deconstructionism, insisted on the philosophic principle that objective truth existed. She passed away Friday. This is a fine article from Aleteia, Alice von Hildebrand, Catholic philosopher and critic of moral relativism, dies at 98.” Here is how they describe her relationship within the left-wing academy:

She found it difficult to get a teaching position, even at Catholic colleges, which told her at the time that they did not hire women to teach philosophy. Finally hired at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York, she became the first woman to teach philosophy there. She also found herself in a secular world for the first time. Her dedication to objective truth raised the hackles of professors who were materialistic, liberal and communist, she said.

Call Me Not Great When I Go


Call me not great when I go, friend.
Call me not great at all.
I was a man imperfect, friend;
I heard the devil’s call.

At times I’d deny his allure.
At times I paid his due.
My sins remember me for sure,
And ev’ry one I rue.

Speaker for the Dead: The Circuitous Man


I had heard Edwin was in the hospital. I had heard the church was collecting money. The way I had heard it from my wife was that it was to cover his medical bills.

Finding Out

I was going into church to train Sheila on our Dial-a-Prayer system, a phone line with an inspirational prayer available twenty-four hours a day and seven days per week. Right now the technology used is an old micro-cassette based answering machine. Sheila had volunteered for the fifth week of the month. This was her second training session. The first was before the start of the pandemic. Not every month has five Sundays, and we had changed from having five volunteers alternating the weeks on Dial-a-Prayer for several months with CoViD. Thus, we are now trying to get back to normal, and I was retraining her. I’ll have to retrain her again in November, since in a few weeks, we are going to a more modern phone system, and half of what she learned Tuesday will be obsolete.

Basia and the Squirrel: Scruton’s Tale of Eros Transubstantiated


“The apostolic church is a church of the heart. When you steal from it you steal the heart. Hence the theft is easy, and amends are long and hard.” A strange way to sum up a story of erotic love. Nonetheless, it was Scruton’s way, as he described, in the second half of his essay, Stealing from Churches, the thwarted love affair that taught him a “narrative of transubstantiation” transmuting body into soul. In truth, the love affair wasn’t thwarted at all, but one that fulfilled its purpose, a purpose his stubborn young beloved, Basia (pronounced “Basha”), saw more clearly than he did.

Scruton had organized a subversive summer school for the Catholic University in Poland, bringing together Polish and English philosophy students to resist communism. Under the codename “Squirrel” (in Polish “Wiewiorka”, for his red hair) and tailed by at least one jug-eared agent, Scruton had stumbled into more James-Bond mystique than most ginger-haired philosophy dons could hope for. It would be almost cliche, then, for an exotic young thing to throw herself at him. Wry-smiling, stunning Basia was no cliche, though. Or rather, if she were, it would be the cliche in a kind of story too little told these days to count as cliche anymore.

Basia, at 26, the oldest, most academically-advanced of the bright young things attending Scruton’s summer lectures and their unofficial leader, was an uppity young woman with a checkered past. She wasted little time with Scruton: after his second day in Kazimierz, she waylaid him in the woods to announce she noticed no ring on his finger. Such a frank admission of desire seems likely to end in embarrassment all round whether the desire is reciprocated or not, and perhaps it would have if it weren’t accompanied by her equally frank admission that consummating desire was not her aim:

To Herb Meyer’s Memory


Over the years, Ricochet has inspired lasting friendships, not least of which is many members’ friendship with @tommeyer, who’s not only a great guy, but someone who rendered Ricochet great service before he moved on to other things. When Herb Meyer, Tom’s father, died, the outpouring of thanksgiving for Herb’s life was tremendous. At the time, I dedicated a motet I was working on to Herb’s memory, but life having gotten in the way, I haven’t had a chance to share it with the Ricoverse until now:

Member Post


I stayed away this year – – I don’t know why, just one of those years, I guess, where I couldn’t do it – – I couldn’t stop by the firehouse, couldn’t attend the memorial service, and couldn’t bring myself to think about the day.  Some anniversaries are like that.        Having successfully distracted myself […]

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Anderson/Berns/Jaffa — A Tough Start to 2015


2015 may be less than a few weeks old, but already we have lost three of the most important intellectual figures in the modern conservative intellectual movement: Martin Anderson, Walter Berns, and Harry Jaffa. Many people, including Yuval Levin, Bill Kristol, Steve Hayward, and Ed Feulner have weighed in on their important ideas, but the three men also recognized the importance of bringing conservative ideas into the arena of government.

Anderson took this notion most seriously, working for multiple Republican administrations in his long career. Most prominently, he served as Ronald Reagan’s “one-man think tank” in Reagan’s campaigns for the presidency and in the White House. Anderson recognized the importance of both people and ideas in the conservative movement. As he himself once wrote, “ideas are the key to creating policy, but people are the key to implementing that policy.” Anderson recruited over 450 intellectuals to support Reagan’s 1980 effort. After Reagan’s victory, Anderson helped recruit many of those intellectuals to serve in the Reagan Administration.