The Near Country

“God knows I don’t set up to be good; but even a rascal sometimes has to fight the world in the same way as a saint” -Captain Patrick Dalroy, The Flying Inn, by GK Chesterton

The road to conversion, I believe, often starts with a good,  hard, clarifying look at the world and the man in the mirror.  It’s not so hard in this day and age to see how darkly is the glass (to awkwardly paraphrase St. Paul).

I got this kick in the shorts many years ago, and now am within sight of the walls of Rome, set to enter the Holy Catholic Church during Easter Vigils in just under six months.  The Far Country has become the Near Country.

Welcome to Flying Inn to Rome.  More than a century ago, Cardinal Newman, the great leader of Catholicism’s revival in England, said, “I want a laity … who know their faith, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it and who know enough of history to defend it. I want an intelligent, well-instructed laity.  My hope is that every Catholic will be able to articulate their faith in convincing and intelligent ways, and show by their living example the compelling truth of the Gospel and church teaching.” (quote source)

At times I find it very hard to articulate this enormous pull, attraction, and call to home of the Catholic Church, but I hope and pray that this space will enable me to do that better.  Like my allusion to Chesterton’s Flying Inn, however, and apropos to this postmodern, confusing age, I pray that these entries will avoid the stodgy, the heavy, and the overly theological, and lean more towards the rollicking reality:  that this world is good, but our Fall has left us quite ridiculous and laden with the most unfortunate and awkward of baggage, and our call Home is an adventure, if rightly considered.





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