February 17 ~  Cover the Essentials Knox on Kindle

"A good sermon should be like a woman's skirt: short enough to arouse interest but long enough to cover the essentials." ~ Ronald Knox

Ronald Knox

A man of the cloth, a man of the pen, Ronald Arbuthnott Knox (1888–1957) was born on this day in Leicestershire, England, the son and grandson of Anglican ministers who converted to Catholicism in 1917.

"It is so stupid of modern civilization to have given up believing in the devil when he is the only explanation of it," he said and was ordained a priest in 1919.

Considered an influential 20th century convert writer, Knox's best known book The Belief of Catholics (1927), presents a thorough examination of Catholic life and practice. He celebrated the ritual and ceremony. This passionate and eloquent theological portrait helped to transform skepticism into renewed faith.

"If you are looking for The Church, you will find only one," he said.

The prolific Knox wrote over 75 books, his accomplishments crossed genres and included biographies, satires, and murder mysteries. "Always tell the truth," he wrote in The Viaduct Murder (1925), "and people will never believe you."

Monsignor Knox was an ingenious and witty lecturer and great friend to G. K. Chesterton. His monumental English translations included The Bible (1955) and St. Thérèse Autobiography (1958).

He said, "Words are born and die; they live only so long as they have an important errand to fulfill, by expressing what needs expression."

Keep it short and get to the point.