Okay, that title is malarkey. I have no ability to secure dinner, candlelit or otherwise, with Mr. Masty. I am, nonetheless, intrigued by his Monday essay and the question posed of whom I would invite to dinner given the chance to invite anyone in history. I thus submit my list to the general audience, with the caveat that I have a soft spot for nonsense, slicing wit and apologetics.
The first person I would write out an invitation to is Flannery O’Connor. She’s been known to say things like, “I don’t deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it.” and “Many people, I have found, are congenitally unable to appreciate the sight of a peacock. Once or twice I have been asked what the peacock is ‘good for’—a question which gets no answer from me because it deserves none.”
In that same vein, St. Philip Neri would also receive an invitation. His sense of humor and understanding that the most serious things can be portrayed lightly is just my cup of tea. I hope he tells the story about the pious young man and the hair shirt or brings his joke book!
St. Thomas More should check the post for his invitation, as should Evelyn Waugh (my favorite cynic— I mean author) and St. Thomas Aquinas, who will speak little and be listened to the most.
Oh, and Masty, for crying out loud. I am keenly interested in his opinion on what I’ll be serving: chocolate pudding.
Books on the topic of this essay can be found at The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.