Guess who's coming to dinner? Living or dead, who would you invite?
I used to have a book that contained questions that were supposed to spark long, thoughtful conversations. I don't remember using it all that much or even if it proved useful. But, one of the questions was this week's topic. If you could invite anyone, from any time in history, to dinner, who would it be?
Would you invite someone that played a great role in history like Thomas Jefferson or Atilla the Hun? Or someone that helped form the basis of your faith like Jesus or one of the saints. Maybe you would invite a relative that lived long before you were born or an entertainer that you admire.
It didn't take me long to figure out who I would invite. And, my guess is that at least one of them isn't much of a surprise. I would chose as my guests G.K. Chesterton, St. John Paul the Great, and Leila from Little Catholic Bubble.
These are three people from whom I have learned so much, both in content and in style. All three speak of truths that are timeless. They all teach me how to speak of what is right and good and just.
It has been said the Chesterton could vehemently debate someone and then go have plesant drink or dinner with them. One of his more famous debates was with Clarence Darrow. I see much of the same thoughtfullness and care in discussions that Leila has had on both her blog and on Facebook. She engages and challenges people on topics where they hold positions diametrically opposed to what she knows is right. I don't know how she does it. The irrationality of some of those people would drive me batty and I'm afraid I would be less than charitable in my responses to them.
St. John Paul not only spoke the truth, he lived it. His teachings and many writings reminded us of the value and inherit goodness of each and every human life. He was such a vital and brilliant man who was physically cut down by such a horrible disease but still led his flock. That is an example I need to remember as I get older.
I get the feeling that an afternoon with these three would be a delightful meandering of thoughtful dialog. It would be one of those conversations where one topic leads to another and another and by the end of the day you're not sure how you got where you did. But you are certainly glad you did.
“The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”