It’s time for the March edition of Mailbag! Without further ado. . .
You speak of many gentlemanly endeavors. I would like to suggest that letter writing, a lost skill for most of us, must be recovered especially as a Catholic Gentleman. I have recently attempted to recover it myself, because as a priest in training it always seemed clear to me that people take great solace and consolation from a hand-written letter or note. It seems more intentional and sincere. It allows for prayer intentions to be passed on in a very concrete way; which is how I have taken to using it now that I’m no longer on any social media. C.S Lewis, Tolkien and the like would do such things with their correspondence and I so greatly admire them and have a thing Catholic/Christian English Literature of the 19th and 20th century.
So just a thought that I would pass on, when you have a chance in your busy schedule to write on such a topic. I couldn’t agree more.
Letter correspondence is a lost art. There is something intensely personal about a letter as opposed to an e-mail or text message. A man penning a letter has time to carefully think about each word. I think that fact alone should make the letter more meaningful from the recipient’s perspective. Anyone can send an e-mail or text. Only a committed man can sit down at a desk, pen out his thoughts, find a stamp, and deal with an insufferable quasi-federal agency to have it delivered to the dear recipient.
You also hit wonderfully on the idea of pen pals. I read the Brownson-Hecker correspondence in college, which I now have a copy of sitting on my shelf, and I have to say that the idea of men communicating through traditional correspondence over the years as their ideas, philosophies, and circumstances change is without parallel. Letter correspondence is the extraordinary form of communication. You can certainly expect three or four posts on this subject and perhaps a letter in the mail.
For three guys who love Chesterton you simply don’t seem to know him that well. He almost certainly would have embraced marriage equality.
Chesterton supporting “marriage equality?” You can’t reason with stupid. This letter made me remember the Baronius Press Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, by Archbishop Michael Sheehan, who writes:
[I]t is a waste of time to argue with one who refuses to listen, or with one who seriously defends an absurdity, who maintains, for example, that a great work of literature is a mere chance arrangement of words or that thieving and bribery are not vices. Folly is mere imbecility, mere incapacity of understanding, while prejudice acts like a break on reason, impeding its natural movement. . .People of such views, however, are rare. They suffer from some twist of the mind and are abnormal.
Is there a way to subscribe to the blog via email? I think my husband would be interested in reading but he doesn’t use a “reader”– or “tweet”, so I think an email subscription would be the way to go, but I cannot find that option on the blog.
Not currently. We will add that to our list of “fixes” for our June meet up.
What is your daily consumption of whiskey? I’m kind of worried of the health and psychological issues (i.e., possibility of addiction) regarding spirit consumption.
Not counting social events, perhaps one drink two nights a week. I do not have a strict “drink limit” but it is difficult to find a quiet moment to enjoy a drink and a book with family and work commitments. Speaking personally, I find that my palate deteriorates pretty quickly after the first drink so it becomes more difficult for me to truly appreciate a fine scotch on the second drink. I have no problem with second and third martinis in social situations. My rule with drinking is that I only do it when I am happy or contemplative — never when I am angry or upset. I think this is a healthy rule to follow because it immediately alleviates some of the concerns of alcoholism.
For those Catholics who might have a problem with addiction, please consider making use of the resources available. The Fathers of Mercy have a nice list of some of the many programs available for Catholic men suffering from addictions. In particular, please consider asking your spiritual director about the Calix Society.