Choosing What to Study

It’s very common for students or parents to look over the CLAA[efn_note]Classical Liberal Arts Academy[/efn_note] curriculum and courses and ask: What should I study? What courses should I focus on? What courses are the most important? How much time should I give to this or that course? This dilemma comes from the realization that every course the CLAA offers is important and there is really nothing that can be ignored.  The CLAA is not like a modern school where students just pick what they want to satisfy graduation requirements.  There are real benefits to be gained from every course studied … Read more.

Why are CLAA exams so difficult?

I spend hours and hours every week making very difficult exams.  The exams I make are far more difficult than any exam I every had to take in school or college.  Why are CLAA exams so difficult? There are two reasons. First, every course is important in the CLAA.  In modern schools, there are many courses that are studied for political reasons rather than for the sake of Wisdom.  For example, in some schools, students are required to take “social studies” courses that introduce students to all different cultures and religions as if they are all equal in influence, when … Read more.

Persevering to the End

Dear students, At this time of year, the weather begins to change, the time changes, and we begin to think about the holidays.  While all of this is good, we are also tempted to stop working, which is bad. These are the times that separate the great students from ordinary kids.  Ordinary kids are always looking for an excuse take a break.  They do not live like people who believe they receive their life and health by God, to use for His glory, but as if these things are their right, to use as they please.  They have selfish desires … Read more.

The Danger of Self-Contradiction

For Republicans, there are many positives heading into the mid-terms, but the biggest obstacle to Republican progress is the self-contradiction that arises during the party’s emotional moments, when it forgets that the cameras are rolling and shows signs that its motives aren’t pure. The illustrator Phil Hands captures this problem well in his recent cartoon (right). Americans are currently bored by their material prosperity because they have no transcendent mission to pursue.  This is, of course, owed to their abandonment of the Gospel, which sets the limits on our disagreements and reminds us that we will never be happy in … Read more.

Maxims for the Direction of a Soul

by St. Alphonsus Liguori To desire ardently to increase in the love of Jesus Christ. Often to make acts of love towards Jesus Christ. Immediately on waking, and before going to sleep, to make an act of love, seeking always to unite your own will to the will of Jesus Christ. Often to meditate on his Passion. Always to ask Jesus Christ for his love. To communicate often, and many times in the day to make spiritual Communions. Often to visit the Most Holy Sacrament. Every morning to receive from the hands of Jesus Christ himself your own cross. To … Read more.

Is Religious Life The Answer?

“A good conscience and a holy life is better than all.” St. Thomas a Kempis This quote is one that you should memorize and say to yourself again and again, every day.  There is nothing in this world that is better for you than a good conscience and a holy life.  A college degree is not  better.  A nice car is not better.  A beautiful wife or handsome husband is not better.  A nice house is not better.  A successful business is not better.  A vacation in the most beautiful place on earth is not better.  Nothing you can ever … Read more.

Weightlifting and Fitness

This may seem like a strange subject for me to write about since I’m not the greatest example of physical fitness, but I believe that my experience in these areas may be helpful to Catholic families trying to find a balance in our society. My Wife and I My wife had no background in sports or fitness and has none today.  She’s been like that since I met her in high school.  She a beautiful, healthy woman, bore ten healthy children and is a hard worker who has no problem with farm and garden work, but her interest in sports … Read more.

Translation Exercises – Important

Dear students, There is simple but important change I need to make in the way we write our translation exercises, which are, of course, one of the most important tasks to do in our studies. In our Latin translation exercises, I have always taught students to set English articles in brackets to mark that they are not actually found in the Latin text.  We have written translations as follows: IN PRINCIPIO in [the] beginning  In the new exams that I will be posting this year, we cannot use brackets when answering fill-in questions.  So, from now on, we will mark … Read more.

How to Read the Bible

The Bible is a Catholic book, but it’s 1000 pages thick and infinitely profound.  As families get ready to get back to school, one of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How should we study the Bible?” Catholic writers and conference speakers say alot on the subject, but the fact that almost no Catholics study the Bible regularly proves that their advice isn’t working too well.  It doesn’t help to send people to papal encyclicals or try and sell books about how to read the Bible.  What Catholic families need is practical help actually reading the Bible, consistently and … Read more.

The Closed Watch

In his book “On the Evolution of Physics”, Einstein says: “In our endeavor to understand reality, we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch. He sees the face and the moving hands, even hears its ticking, but he has no way of opening the case.” Upon reading this, we might initially feel that it provides a clever illustration of the challenge of the work that scientists seek to do.  However, if we think a little more about the illustration, we find that this isn’t anything at all like man’s actual situation. First of … Read more.