“Recently, Sampson and I drove to hear a talk by Mr. Famous Catholic. Sampson is a native of the area, so he agreed to drive us to New Babylon. I respect Famous Catholic greatly, so I gritted my teeth and braced for the difficult trip. It would be taxing due to the traffic, which is always miserable in that part of the country. It’s either excruciatingly slow or at a pace and volume that invite painful lessons in applied physics.

Along the way, I saw what most Americans see daily: strip malls, graffiti, pitted roads, litter, and a nearly complete absence of nature or beauty. How do people endure this? How can anyone say it’s not an affront and a harm to the human spirit?”

Continue reading the essay at the New Oxford Review.