No Rest for the Wicked, by Anthony Esolen

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Pandemonium by John Martin, 1841 [The Louvre, Paris]

By Anthony Esolen, The Catholic Thing, June 9, 2024

Anthony Esolen is a lecturer, translator, and writer. Among his books are Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and Nostalgia: Going Home in a Homeless World, and most recently The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is Distinguished Professor at Thales College. Be sure to visit his new website, Word and Song.


One way to diagnose someone with a bad conscience is to look for a certain form of restlessness.  If the conscience is God’s umpire within us, impartial, no respecter of what our desires may happen to be, we cannot simply make it go away.

It does not belong to us.  We may try to drown out its voice by a lot of noise of our own, the chatter and babble of excuse-making and prevarication.  We may plug up our ears or turn our attention elsewhere.  These are the actions of people who know, deep down, that they are doing wrong, and who half wish that things were otherwise. …

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