Tuesday, October 10, 2006

GKC and Wine

My blogging column in the current issue of the National Catholic Register is about wine. Readers of this blog might enjoy it. Excerpt:

Catholics traditionally love wine. It’s the centerpiece of their liturgy on Sunday mornings and, often, the centerpiece of their dinners on Saturday nights. A Catholic editor once told me, “All good Catholics drink.” He spoke those words at lunch, while drinking Pepsi, so it was no drunken bombast.

He meant it, though I think it’s fairer to say, “A lot of great Catholics have loved wine.”

Read about the early 20th-century Catholic literary revival that biographer Joseph Pearce has chronicled so well. The wine flowed freely — so freely that you might think it was the fuel of the revival. G.K. Chesterton drank it, Maurice Baring balanced glasses of it on his bald head, Hilaire Belloc practically drank a barrel of it during a walking pilgrimage that he recounts in The Path to Rome.

Chesterton and Belloc loved the stuff so much that contemporaries claimed that they had misheard the Creed and thought it demanded belief in “One, Holy, Catholic, and Alcoholic Church.”

Speaking of red stuff. Joe's blog features this GKC quote today: "Red is the most joyful and dreadful thing in the physical universe; it is the fiercest note, it is the highest light, it is the place where the walls of this world of ours wear thinnest and something beyond burns through. It glows in the blood which sustains and in the fire which destroys us, in the roses of our romance and in the awful cup of our religion. It stands for all passionate happiness, as in faith or in first love."

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