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Friday, May 29, 2015

Happy Birthday, G. K. Chesterton!

Chesterton was born on May 29, 1874 so today is the 141st anniversary of his birth.

In honor of the day I offer a few of his incredibly insightful quotations. Each one is well worth a meditation. And all are as current today as when he wrote them, some over 100 years ago. If you aren't familiar with Chesterton, please remedy the situation immediately. The easiest place to start is with his Fr. Brown stories, but his biographies of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi and his collected essays are also good starting points.

I freely admit that some of Chesterton makes me scratch my head. I'm still trying to figure out what The Man Who Was Thursday is about. But even as I scratched my head over it, I found it an entertaining romp in the English countryside. So enjoy these bits of Chestertonian wisdom, but don't let them be you last!

From Dale Alquist:
Chesterton says that Macbeth is the supreme Christian Tragedy; as opposed to Oedipus, which is the supreme Pagan Tragedy: “It is the whole point about Oedipus that he does not know what he is doing. And it is the whole point about Macbeth that he does know what he is doing. It is not a tragedy of Fate but a tragedy of Freewill.”
From What's Wrong with the World:
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” – Chapter 5
From the Illustrated London News, 4/19/30:
“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”
From A Short History of England:
“To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.”
From Autobiography 1937:
“The only defensible war is a war of defense.”
From Heretics, 1905:
“Love means loving the unlovable – or it is no virtue at all.”

From the Illustrated London News 3/14/08:
“It’s not that we don’t have enough scoundrels to curse; it’s that we don’t have enough good men to curse them.”
Want more? Go here.

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