Illuminations

Washed in the Blood

by Anthony Esolen

We Roman Catholics have at least anecdotal evidence of the existence of Purgatory. It comes when we attend Mass and must listen to the music. What is worse than doggerel? What doggerel leaves on the bottom of your shoe, maybe, because when the slack and slovenly stuff begins, I find myself scraping my feet on the floor and looking furtively roundabout for the exit. I think fire would be much nicer. At least it would burn up the hymnals and reduce them to ash.

"How long, O Lord!" I cry.

"Shh! About twenty minutes," says my wife, Debra.

You will look in vain in our . . .

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.


• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

27.2—March/April 2014

The Rights of Aphrodite

on C. S. Lewis & the New State Paganism by W. E. Knickerbocker

19.4—May 2006

The Relatively Good Book

on the Liberal Protestant Bible Translation by B. J. Hutto

26.1—Jan/Feb 2013

Scarborough Needs Men

Manly Chastity, Hedonism & the Law of Non-contradiction by Anthony Esolen