Note to readers: Ronald Arbuthnott Knox converted to the Catholic Church in 1918 after being ordained an Anglican priest in 1912. His father was also an Anglican priest, bishop of Manchester, lest anyone think this decision came easily, fighting a national church, family, and friends.
I admire greatly Monsignor Knox and hope that you will come to see that his thought is original, brilliant, and not given to well-worn troughs of repetition. He does not dodge or quibble with the Church's truth the way 'careful' commentators tend to do.
CATHOLICISM, THEY SAY, DRAINS the life-blood of a nation by its untimely insistence on the claims of the other world. And we have to answer again with a parable. We only know one thing for certain about this mysterious many-sided world on the shores of which we were cast upon at our birth, that God is our Father, that he has planted a vineyard, and told us to go and work in it. Yes, it looks ugly enough now, rows and rows of poles with strings running in between, but that was what he told us to do, and we suppose there must be something behind it all. We do believe that man cannot be called upon to undertake what grace cannot enable him to fulfil.
We do believe that external acts done for God's sake, even if in this world they are fruitless, will earn his commendation. We do believe that the first duty of Catholics is to make heaven populous. And the lip-service which merely applauds pious sentiments and likes a dash of religion about its newspaper articles, but does not alter the lives and the hearts of those who make their tribute of it, is, to us, a grudging and an unfilial apology for doing our Father's will.
- Ronald Knox