Monday, June 29, 2009

Who prayed for Chesterton?

On Chesterton's conversion to the Catholic Faith:

"Nothing for years has given me so much joy. I have hardly ever entered a church without putting up a candle to Our Lady or to St. Joseph or St. Anthony for you. And both this year and last year in Lent I made a Novena for you. I know of many other people, better people far than I, who did the same. Many Masses were said for you and prayers all over England and Scotland in centres of Holiness. I will show you some day a letter from some Nuns on the subject. A great friend of mine, one of the greatest saints I have known, Sister Mary Annunciation of the Convent Orphanage, Upper Norwood, used always to pray for you...Well, all I have to say, Gilbert, is what I think I have already said to you, and what I have said not long ago in a printed book. That I was received into the Church on the Eve of Candlemas 1909, and it is perhaps the only act in my life which I am quite certain I have never regretted. Every day I live, the Church seems to me more and more wonderful; the Sacraments more and more solemn and sustaining; the voice of the Church, her liturgy, her rules, her discipline, her ritual, her decisions in matters of Faith and Morals more and more excellent and profoundly wise and true and right, and her children stamped with something that those outside Her are without. There I have found Truth and reality and everything outside Her is to me, compared with Her, as dust and shadow. Once more God bless you, and Frances. Please give her my love. In my prayers for you I have always added her name."

The above quote is from a good friend of GKC's, Maurice Baring (famously seen in the "Baring, Overbearing and Past-bearing" portrait with Chesterton and Belloc). It seems that we owe a great debt to Baring, and many others, for praying for Chesterton and therefore aiding his entrance into the Church. It's a humbling reminder: Christ meant it when He said, "Ask and you shall recieve, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you..."

God bless!

1 comment:

Dr. Thursday said...


This is why we Chestertonians must always remember to pray for conversions and for converts...

One of those I would like to recommend for our prayers is Martin Gardiner, a famous writer on science and mathematics - he annotated Alice In Wonderland, and he admires GKC, but has not yet followed GKC to the Everlasting Man. May God grant him wisdom!