Forming your own Pint, Pipe and Cross Club

Here are some guidelines in forming your own, Pint, Pipe and Cross Club.

Inklings member, J.R.R. Tolkien enjoying a good pipe.

Inklings member, J.R.R. Tolkien enjoying a good pipe.

Keep it simple. The purpose of this men’s club is to facilitate the free discussion of the Catholic faith, good literature, good beer, pipes and cigars. This is to keep within the tradition of the “Inklings”, a group made famous by such members as J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, Roger Lancelyn Green, Hugo Dyson, Robert Harvard and C.S. Lewis, to name a few, who met at The Eagle and Child pub in Oxford.  Inklings member, Warren Lewis, brother of C.S. Lewis wrote this about the group “Properly speaking, the Inklings was neither a club nor a literary society, though it partook of the nature of both. There were no rules, officers, agendas, or formal elections.”

With that thought in mind, that too is how a Pint, Pipe and Cross Club should be formed, informal rather than structured. No rules, officers, agendas, or formal elections. Men need to fellowship with other good Catholic men. So instead of a Bible study, the following structure is suggested:

  1. Pick a location, such as a pub, microbrewery, or coffee shop. Somewhere with seating and room to just hang out and talk. Preferably somewhere that allows smoking.
  2. Meet monthly
  3. Have a spiritual advisor
  4. Begin and end each gathering with prayer, giving thanks, asking for petitions and praying for one another.
  5. Have a spiritual book in progress at all times. One chapter a month. Discuss, but set no time limit on discussion. Let conversation flow freely.
  6. Relax and have a good time. Fellowship, but don’t necessarily limit to spiritual discussion.
Raise a pint and join in good fellowship.

Raise a pint and join in good fellowship.

The emphasis of discussion should be on good Catholic literature, writings of the saints and other spiritual writings. Non-Catholics may be permitted to be members, keeping in mind that no anti-Catholic writings should be discussed or permitted. Use this time to grow in your faith, learn a deeper understanding and develop lifelong friendships among your Catholic brothers. Sharing good times, mentoring one another and supporting each other.

Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12

Note: Though not a member of the Inklings, the Pint, Pipe and Cross Club takes its name from a quote by G.K. Chesterton “In Catholicism, the pint, the pipe and the Cross can all fit together.” As a side note, G.K. Chesterton does have a link to the Inklings, member C.S. Lewis sites the writings of G.K. Chesterton as highly influential in his own journey to re-embracing his Christian faith.

If you form a Pint, Pipe and Cross Club, please feel free to use these guidelines and send me a post where your club meets. I will post up your clubs info on this site and the Facebook page. Also, feel free to use the logo I designed. You may put it on flyers to advertise in your parish and even enlarge it and use it at your meeting place. Let us know how your group progresses, and more importantly, grow in your faith and friendships!

BTW, please keep in mind that we should always follow all the virtues, especially the virtue of temperance when participating in a Pint, Pipe and Cross Club gathering. As G. K. Chesterton wrote in Orthodoxy, “We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.” In other words, we show our gratitude to God for wine and beer by enjoying these things, in good cheer and warm company, but not enjoying them to excess. For more information I suggest reading this fine article: The Lost Art of Catholic Drinking by Sean P. Dailey

Where’er the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s music and laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!
~Hilaire Belloc

“Our Hearts are Restless Until They Rest in You”

St. AugustineSaint Augustine is one of my favorite saints. In fact, it was through his writings, and the writings of the other Early Church Fathers, that brought me to the Catholic Church. I can identify very much with the struggle he faced in his life. Full of restlessness, seeking to “find” himself, searching for that which could fill the emptiness he felt in his heart, the emptiness that every human feels. Like Augustine, many of us try to fill it with things, belonging, sex, food, popularity, etc. It’s especially evident in our world today. Sadly, many do not come to the understanding that Augustine did. They close off their hearts, perhaps due to the cloud of pain and loneliness that they feel. They close themselves off from the grace that God wants to give us all.

Augustine’s story also shows us, that we can’t do this alone. We need help. Not just God’s help…but help from our brothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers. Augustine had his mother, Monica, who prayed for him for 33 years. Without her prayers, I wonder if he would have come to know Christ and be honored as the Saint we know and celebrate today. I really doubt it. Today, I think more than ever, we need more “Monicas”, to pray for the many who are searching with restless hearts. The next time you see someone lost with an empty heart, whether at work, on the street, in the news or in the entertainment business, pray for them, instead of condemning them. They are lost, broken, hurting, and restless, just as Augustine was, but with our persistent prayers, we can have hope that they too can find the rest that are searching for. Pray that their restless hearts, come to rest in Our Lord!

From the Confessions ~Saint Augustine of Hippo

Great are you, O Lord, and exceedingly worthy of praise; your power is immense, and your wisdom beyond reckoning. And so we men, who are a due part of your creation, long to praise you – we also carry our mortality about with us, carry the evidence of our sin and with it the proof that you thwart the proud. You arouse us so that praising you may bring us joy, because you have made us and drawn us to yourself, and our heart is unquiet until it rests in you.

Grant me to know and understand, Lord, which comes first. To call upon you or to praise you? To know you or to call upon you? Must we know you before we can call upon you? Anyone who invokes what is still unknown may be making a mistake. Or should you be invoked first, so that we may then come to know you? But how can people call upon someone in whom they do not yet believe? And how can they believe without a preacher?

But scripture tells us that those who seek the Lord will praise him, for as they seek they find him, and on finding him they will praise him. Let me seek you then, Lord, even while I am calling upon you, and call upon you even as I believe in you; for to us you have indeed been preached. My faith calls upon you, Lord, this faith which is your gift to me, which you have breathed into me through the humanity of your Son and the ministry of your preacher.

How shall I call upon my God, my God and my Lord, when by the very act of calling upon him I would be calling him into myself? Is there any place within me into which my God might come? How should the God who made heaven and earth come into me? Is there any room in me for you, Lord, my God? Even heaven and earth, which you have made and in which you have made me – can even they contain you? Since nothing that exists would exist without you, does it follow that whatever exists does in some way contain you?

But if this is so, how can I, who am one of these existing things, ask you to come into me, when I would not exist at all unless you were already in me? Not yet am I in hell, after all but even if I were, you would be there too; for if I descend into the underworld, you are there. No, my God, I would not exist, I would not be at all, if you were not in me. Or should I say, rather, that I should not exist if I were not in you, from whom are all things, through whom are all things, in whom are all things? Yes, Lord, that is the truth, that is indeed the truth. To what place can I invite you, then, since I am in you? Or where could you come from, in order to come into me? To what place outside heaven and earth could I travel, so that my God could come to me there, the God who said, I fill heaven and earth?

Who will grant it to me to find peace in you? Who will grant me this grace, that you should come into my heart and inebriate it, enabling me to forget the evils that beset me and embrace you, my only good? What are you to me? Have mercy on me, so that I may tell. What indeed am I to you, that you should command me to love you, and grow angry with me if I do not, and threaten me with enormous woes? Is not the failure to love you woe enough in itself?

Alas for me! Through your own merciful dealings with me, O Lord my God, tell me what you are to me. Say to my soul, I am your salvation. Say it so that I can hear it. My heart is listening, Lord; open the ears of my heart and say to my soul, I am your salvation. Let me run towards this voice and seize hold of you. Do not hide your face from me: let me die so that I may see it, for not to see it would be death to me indeed.

Excerpted from the Confessions of St. Augustine (Book I, Chapter 1)

Real Men Pray the Rosary Challenge

Today, Real Men Pray the Rosary launches a countdown towards the start of a 33 day Rosary Challenge. RMPTR (realmenpraytherosary.org) would like to encourage all Catholic faithful to pray the Rosary daily for 33 days. We all need a challenge and what better day to begin a challenge than with the help of our Blessed Mother.

Please consider joining us in this worldwide prayer initiativeToday is 14 days till the start of the 33 day initiative, which will begin on August 29th. Praying the Rosary “provides genuine training in holiness.” Who wouldn’t want Mary as their spiritual trainer.

Join us in praying the Rosary daily. Will you take the challenge? Invite someone you love.

Go to 33dayrosarychallenge.org for more information.

Take the Real Men Pray the Rosary Challenge!

Beer, Wine, Pipes, Cigars and the Catholic Good Life!

The Catholic Church is like a thick steak, a glass of red wine, and a good cigar.
G.K. Chesterton

 

In Catholicism, the pint, the pipe and the Cross can all fit together.
GK Chesterton

 

From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.
Saint Arnold of Metz, The Patron Saint of Brewers

 

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!
Hilaire Belloc

 

Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath, and a glass of good wine.
St. Thomas Aquinas

 

I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
St. Brigid of Ireland

 

 

Welcome to the Pint, Pipe and Cross Club

Yesterday, Aug 6, 2013, I and a couple of others were inspired to attempt to start a Pint, Pipe and Cross Club based upon a post on Facebook by The Catholic Gentleman about a GK Chesterton quote, “the pint, the pipe and the Cross can all fit together.”

Eagle_and_Child_(interior)What a marvelous idea. I really enjoying having a good pint of strong ale (I homebrew 🙂 ), smoking my pipe and enjoying good, even spirited conversation about the Catholic faith. I think it was all kind of spontaneous, but I immediately envisioned a group of men gathering at a local pub once or twice a month and partaking of this type of activity. I picture JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis meeting at the Eagle and Child Pub (or as they called it, The Bird and Baby) in Oxford, engaging in lively discussion, having a few laughs, hefting a few pints, surrounded by pipe and cigar smoke, challenging one another to live as better Christian men.

This has all the elements that good Catholic men love, and it makes for a good environment to keep each other accountable and engaged in their faith.

Let me know your thoughts. I see this being something more. Catholic men gathering in an informal way to discuss the important things in life. It need not be complicated or contrived, but a organic movement. I love it. What say you?

eagle-and