Sunday, December 28, 2008


I just finished reading Evelyn Waugh's biography of St. Edmund Campion (thanking God for vacation reading time!). It's simply astonishing to my coddled little suburban American brain: the starkness of the choices with which those men and women were faced, the tenacity of their faith, the joy of their suffering. All my mental gymnastics attempting to make the Church palatable or respectable (or even sufferable) to those I meet seem vapid. Campion and his fellow priests knew the difference between making Christ attractive and making Him into a tapioca pudding.

Christ is attractive because He spoke the truth about the human condition, provided the remedy, and gave a Church to guard that truth and remedy. And He died so we would know this: God does not change according to our comfort zones. Great joy in that. And great trembling!

It's a great read: Waugh makes the biography into a cross between a novel, a history, and literary appreciation (of Campion's letters and works).

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