G.K. Chesterton once said that his umbrella helped reveal to him why he knew the Catholic Church was for him. He said that whenever he went to non-Catholic churches, he would customarily leave his umbrella by the back door during the worship service. In these churches, his umbrella would always be there waiting for him when he went back out. But the first time went into a Catholic church to hear Mass, his umbrella disappeared from the back of the church. Someone had stolen it.

His conclusion? If the Catholic church offered such a generous and open doorway to the rabble, being a home for both sinners and saints, then he had indeed found a home where he could also fumble along into the kingdom. He also added, “Every one on this earth should believe, amid whatever madness or moral failure, that his life and temperament have some object on the earth. Every one on the earth should believe that he has something to give to the world which cannot otherwise be given.”

A gentleman I knew in Florida, a cantankerous old salt, said to me once,

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