A Chestertonian Adrift in an Ideological World
CONFESSIONS OF AN APOSTATE
I have a story to tell you, and I’m afraid it’s rather a personal story; within it, the pronoun “I” will recur with sickening frequency. But you’ll soon see why.
G.K. Chesterton died in 1936. I was a schoolboy at the time, at Douai Abbey in Berkshire, and my headmaster — Dom Ignatius Rice, O.S.B., a great man — had known G.K.C. closely and was bowled over by his death.
A few days later, he summoned me into his presence. “Christopher, I understand that you’re thinking of a scientific career?”
I was: the love of my life was then chemistry.
“Well, I’m asking you to change your plans: I want to lay a charge upon you, a duty, a vocation. The world has quite enough chemists, but it hasn’t got nearly enough good Catholic writers. You write well for your age: I want you to continue Chesterton’s work to the best of your ability. Will you please make that into your career?”
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