This is a short post to recommend the novel Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson (Wikipedia, Gutenberg). I read the book at first because I saw that it was recommended by both Benedict XVI and Francis. Published in 1908, it’s a dystopian novel set in the 21st century where the Catholics are the good guys. As an evangelical Christian, I enjoyed comparing Benson’s “predictions” with those of the Left Behind novels of the 1990s (spoiler: the predictions are quite different). It’s a wonderful intellectual exercise to work your back to the mindset of a conservative Catholic in 1908 (pre-Vatican II), by reading the way he imagines the future will be. “Volors” (passenger airships) travel at speeds of 150 mph, but typewriters are suspect inventions; the faithful prefer Latin to Esperanto; in Rome, capital punishment is in, while automobiles are out. It is weird and wonderful.

To say anything more would spoil the plot for you, so I will leave it at that.