Quotable: Evelyn Waugh

So Rex was sent to Farm Street to Father Mowbray, a priest renowned for his triumphs with obdurate catechumens. After the third interview he came to tea with Lady Marchmain.

“Well, how do you find my future son-in-law?”

“He’s the most difficult convert I have ever met.”

“Oh dear, I thought he was going to make it so easy.”

“That’s exactly it. I can’t get anywhere near him. He doesn’t seem to have the least intellectual curiosity or natural piety.

“The first day I wanted to find out what sort of religious life he had had till now, so I asked him what he meant by prayer. He said: ‘I don’t mean anything. You tell me’. I tried to, in a few words, and he said: ‘Right. So much for prayer. What’s the next thing?’ I gave him the catechism to take away. Yesterday I asked him whether Our Lord had more than one nature. He said: ‘Just as many as you say, Father.’

Then again I asked him: ‘Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said ‘It’s going to rain’, would that be bound to happen?’ ‘Oh, yes, Father.’ ‘But supposing it didn’t?’ He thought a moment and said, “I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.'”

–Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

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