In 1930, Waugh became a Roman Catholic, writing to his friend (and longtime interlocutor) Martin D’Arcy, S.J., that he had realized “the Roman Catholic Church is the only genuine form of Christianity.” Waugh was a big enough name after Vile Bodies was published that his decision made headlines in the London papers. He later described his reception into the Catholic Church as “like stepping across the chimney piece out of a Looking-Glass world, where everything is an absurd caricature, into the real world God made; and then begins the delicious process of exploring it limitlessly.”
In my junior year of college, if memory served one of my classes was devoted to the modern novel. During the summer we were expected to read 10 novels in preparation. The one I chose to start with Brideshead Revisited. I chose it because in my sophomore year I had read Decline and Fall, which may still be the funniest novel i have ever read. After reading it for about 40 minutes, I put the book down and said aloud to myself, “This may well be the saddest book I have ever read.”
Like Waugh I am a serious Catholic, but a most imperfect human. Also, like him, I would be far worse without my faith.