“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
― G.K. Chesterton
By A.E. Carnehl, contributor
“Why a man should accept a Creator who was a carpenter, and then worry about holy water, why he should accept a local Protestant tradition that God was born in some particular place mentioned in the Bible, merely because the Bible had been left lying about in England, and then say it is incredible that a blessing should linger on the bones of a saint, why he should accept the first and most stupendous part of the story of Heaven on Earth, and then furiously deny a few small but obvious deductions from it – that is a [Protestant] thing I do not understand; I never could understand; I have come to the conclusion that I shall never understand. I can only attribute it to Superstition.”
-G.K.C. in The Thing: Why I am a Catholic
“If Protestantism is a positive thing, there is no doubt whatever that it is dead. In so far as it really was a set of special spiritual beliefs it is no longer believed. The genuine Protestant creed is now hardly held by anybody – least of all by the Protestants. So completely have they lost faith in it, that they have mostly forgotten what it was. If almost any modern man be asked whether we save our souls solely through our theology, or whether doing good will help us on the road to God, he would answer without hesitation that good works are probably more pleasing to God than theology.”
G.K. Chesterton, unlike the other even more popular Christian apologist of the 20th century C.S. Lewis, was not ecumenical. Although at the beginning of his career all of his works brilliantly defended “Orthodoxy” and true Christianity (especially Heretics and Orthodoxy), after he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922 this ecumenicism faded and was replaced by a militant Catholicity that flew in the face of all denominations of Protestantism. Whereas C.S. Lewis described the Church as a hallway with many doors, and each door represented a different strain or denomination with each one contributing to the Church as a whole, Chesterton (after 1922) only saw Catholicism as the true Church.
In such later works as The Thing (quoted above), The Catholic Church and Conversion, The Well and the Shallows, and parts of The Everlasting Man Chesterton deviates from his classic defenses of religion and morality and instead launches into long attacks on Protestantism, such as are found in the two above quotations. These attacks are often baseless or at least very unconvincing, but Chesterton continued with them nevertheless, mistakenly seeing Protestants as his main enemy after his conversion to the dogmas of Rome in 1922. George Orwell, the celebrated author of 1984 and Animal Farm went so far as to describe Chesterton’s later more Catholic writings as “propaganda” and “endless repetition of the same thing”, and this endless repetition Orwell compares to the Ephesians who shouted at the Apostle Paul “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” rather than defend their pagan beliefs rationally in the face of the religious teachings of Paul.
Chesterton was one of the last Catholic voices of the first half of the century that rose so militantly against Protestantism; especially after Vatican II with its tremendous reforms, the line between Catholicism and Protestantism disappeared even more than it did with the emergence of modern liberal and existential theology during World War II. With a whole slew of new Catholic theologians such as Karl Rahner who was greatly influenced by the atheist existentialist Heidegger, Hans Urs von Balthasaar who was good friends with Barth, and perhaps especially Pierre Teilhard de Chardin whose teachings often stood in stark contract to classic Catholic dogma and St Thomas Aquinas, the theologian whom Chesterton especially adored. It would be interesting to see how much G.K.C.’s writing would have changed if he lived through more of the 20th century with its theological developments.
The brilliant poet and essayist W.H. Auden puts Chesterton’s theological beliefs in their correct light when he writes, “If [Chesterton’s] criticisms of Protestantism are not very interesting, this is not his fault. It was a period when Protestant theology (and, perhaps, Catholic too) was at a low ebb, Kierkegaard had not been re-discovered and Karl Barth had not yet been translated. Small fry like Dean Inge and the ineffable Bishop Barnes were too easy game for a mind of his caliber. Where he is at his best is in exposing the hidden dogmas of anthropologists, psychologists and their ilk who claim to be purely objective and ‘scientific’”. Of course we will never know how Chesterton and his thought might have changed in light of new Catholic ways of thinking, but we can guess that he would have just as zealously followed the Pope and Roman dogmas during the 1950s and 1960s as he did in the 20s.
There are perhaps several underlying weaknesses in Chesterton’s defense of Roman Catholicism and critique of “Protestantism” (which he never really defines) throughout his later writings. The first is that Chesterton almost always attacks a straw man of Protestantism rather than any single theology point for point. Unlike his other pointed attacks against Nietzsche or Tolstoy or Russell or Shaw, Chesterton’s attacks against “Protestantism” were often too broad and general that they could easily be proven wrong by just citing a few examples. Chesterton writes in his essay “The New Luther” that, “It is very difficult to imagine any doctrine that could make man more base, describe human nature as more desperately impotent, blacken the reason and the will of man with a more bottomless and hopeless despair than did the real doctrine of Luther”.
G.K. writes this in his essay because he is dismissing some new movement christened “The New Reformation”, for how could any doctrine be blacker and more reformed than Luther’s? Chesterton in this example is absolutely correct that Luther restored the reality of humanity’s impotence, but by doing that Luther merely echoed the Church Fathers and Saints Paul and John. For it was St Paul who said that all have sinned and fallen short, St John who said that if we say we have no sin we lie to ourselves and are made into liars, and it was the great St Augustine who taught that original sin led to an enfeebled will and uncontrollable sensuality. Chesterton, in his allegiance to Thomism and the Catholic thinking at the time, tended to think of man not in the biblical and Augustinian view, but rather, as a sort of demigod whose Image of God-ness is hardly stained or compromised by original sin.
Chesterton, who once wrote before his conversion to Catholicism that original sin was the only empirically verifiable Christian dogma, wrote after his conversion this attack upon Luther. The irony of Chesterton’s statement though is that Luther probably would have taken these words as a compliment of his theology – indeed, Luther’s last words were, “We are all beggars – this is true”. Just as Luther strove to show man’s weakness and therefore absolute need for divine Grace, so did Chesterton focus on the other side of man by emphasizing his “imago Dei” and his saintliness and uniqueness above all other creatures. Luther was speaking to the Renaissance while Chesterton was speaking to the Age of Doubt. For Luther, just the opposite needed to be told, that man is not the measure but that God is.
For Chesterton in the beginning of the 20th century, it needed to be proclaimed that man had a free will, had a conscience, and had the image of his Creator stamped upon his heart.
By: A.E. Carnehl, Contributor
“Everything is good and beautiful because everything is truth… Since the Word is for all creation, and every creature and every little leaf obeys the Word, singing the praises of God, weeping to Christ and, all unaware, accomplishing it all by the mystery of its sinless existence.”
-Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
“Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul… Joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live”.
-G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
It seems that every couple of hundred years or so there is a thinker of such boldness, imagination, and creativity that he never escapes the people’s notice for long, and then, only to be either blindly worshiped or just as blindly lambasted. Taking two such writers as Dostoevsky and Chesterton, it would seem that despite their differences in time, nationality, and style, both certainly share this commonality; both are almost as equally despised and worshiped with each new generation, often for all the wrong reasons. Dostoevsky is dismissed by many for being too “dark”, “morbid”, or at worst, just “boring”. Chesterton is criticized for being “shallow”, “flippant”, and “verbose”. Both were “good writers, who wrecked their writing with Christian proselytizing”. Indeed, this deep faith in Christ was truly the unifying theme in each man’s body of work, although it was manifested in different ways and of course in different styles.
For Dostoevsky, faith in Jesus as Savior of the world was the greatest and hardest endeavor for a man. It led to great suffering and estrangement, but was ultimately the only worthwhile activity as it led not only to heaven, but also to the Kingdom of God on earth. Faith followed love and mended all broken things for Dostoevsky’s characters in his novels as they are always broken, sinful, and in need of Grace. For Chesterton faith in Jesus Christ was also at the foundation of all action and activity, and it was something that led to a lifetime of adventure, risk, and reward. All of the characters in Chesterton’s novels are romantics, getting married, standing up for justice, carrying swords, and living lives of chivalry and adventure because the life that God has made is meant to be lived in that way.
Dostoevsky and Chesterton did more than just write books that defended some of their religious beliefs; they created consistent systems of thought in their writings. Taken as a whole, all of Dostoevsky’s great novels and stories paint a world that is full of the pain and suffering due to sin and the “birth pains” of the end of the world. His writing in this way is very eschatological as it continually shows the possible paths of destruction for Russia if she stays on the tracks of socialism, atheism, and modernism. If only Russia would have heeded his words they could have averted Communism and so much untold suffering. Despite the pain and darkness in Dostoevsky though, his ultimate message is clearly one of humanity’s total redemption. This idea that, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” unites all of his work because it shows that this death (of the flesh) is necessary for joy.
Chesterton, while certainly being (generally) a happier writer than Dostoevsky, still had this message to give to the world. The paths of socialism, progressivism, atheism, and skepticism led to enslavement in the flesh, in sin. While Chesterton did not perhaps paint as vividly the effects of the fall of man in this life, he did declare it just as obviously: the fall of Man is “A view of life that holds that we have misused a good world and not merely been entrapped into a bad one”. Just as in Dostoevsky, in Chesterton one would be oblivious if he did not hear Chesterton’s voice declaring boldly a joyous victory over sin and damnation.
Everything is good, beautiful, and joyous if only one could see things for what they really are. Dostoevsky – a gambling, epileptic man given over to lust saw through his trials a New Jerusalem waiting for him on earth and in the afterlife. Chesterton – a 300 pound journalist always in self-imposed poor health died years before he should have but saw all his life the joy underlying all of God’s creation which would be multiplied in Heaven. In both of these writers sin is an inescapable reality, but it never has the last word; only God does through His Son given over to die for us.
By: A.E. Carnehl, Guest Contributor
The turn of the 20th century was marked by a number of new philosophies that had grown out of the Darwinism, Marxism, and scientific skepticism of the 19th century. Theosophists, or individuals following the ideas of Helena Blavatsky, maintained that personal spiritual ecstasy and open-mindedness were the means of encountering the Divine. Others, like those following Tolstoy (among other prominent writers), were rebelling against the Church and Catholicism declaring that Christian dogma was constricting and out of date.
In philosophy, the focus began to shift more and more toward individual subjectivity when it came to truth and morality. Communism, materialism, atheism, anarchism, pragmatism, and many other "–isms" stood in the path of common sense and Christianity.
Straddling this path with a sword cane and a pen stood G.K. Chesterton.
Chesterton tirelessly defended the idea that a human being was an animal that created dogmas, or to put it another way, a human was an animal in the Image of God. As a dogmatic creature, human beings had in their nature to make judgments and have beliefs. All the talk at the turn of the century of having an “open mind” for no other reason than to have an open mind was sheer nonsense to GKC. To hope, to dream, to pray, to love, to hate – all these human actions require basic beliefs, and the sum of one’s beliefs make up his dogma.
Chesterton is famous for declaring, “Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”
The following excerpt from a 1909 essay shows in more detail what G.K.C. meant by all this:
“In a vast number of cases, an adjective is ornate or exquisite to the point of artificiality; but that the word it is applied to is entirely forgotten. Thus, when they [free-thinkers] say, “Give us a broad religion,” it is reasonable enough, since one religion is really broader than another. But every religion is a religion; that is, it ties a man to something. A faith can be free up to the exact point where it is unfaithful. Or, again, there are politicians who call themselves “independent” politicians; and who boast that they are not attached to any part. They are not; but they would very much like the party to be attached to them. They have some theory or proposal or other; they cannot be any broader than that theory or proposal.
The truth is that if a man wishes to remain in perfect mental breadth and freedom, he had better not think at all. Thinking is a narrowing process. It leads to what people call dogma. A man who thinks hard about any subject for several years is in horrible danger of discovering the truth about it. This process is called becoming “sectarian,” also “hardening in later life”; it can also be described as “giving up to party what was meant for mankind.” It is a terrible think when a man really find that his mind was given him to use, and not to play with; or, in other words, that the gods gave him a great ugly mouth with which to answer questions, and not merely to ask them. The crocodile finds it easy enough to open his mouth and wait for a [tribesman] or an explorer. It is in knowing the exact moment at which to shut it that they really fastidious and dexterous crocodile shows his training. In the same way the modern man fancies he has reached supreme culture because he opens his intellect. But the supreme culture (in the forcible modern phrase) is to know when to shut your head.
There is one odd aspect of the man with this sort of open mind – a man whom one imagines with an open mouth. It is that being thus gaping and helpless, he is really brutal and oppressive. He tyrannizes; he forces on all other men his own insolent indecision. He forbids his followers to come to any conclusion till he has done so. He will allow no one else to find the truth, as Peary will allow no one else to find the Pole. He is the worst tyrant that the world has seen; he is the persecuting skeptic. He is the man who has held up the whole world now for over a hundred years. I thought of one or two examples, but there is no space to mention them. Perhaps it is just as well.”
-Illustrated London News, October 16, 1909
By: Jacqueline Otto, Guest Contributor
“The paradox of courage is that one must be a little careless of life even in order to keep it.” – G.K. Chesterton
I am not entirely sure where I first ran across this Chesterton-ism, but it was one I had scribbled on a post-it note and stuck to my desktop monitor many years ago. As times modernized, the quote was transferred from a post-it note to a Facebook quote and eventually a tweet which I favorited. As a result, this quote grew with me over the last few years without even knowing the significance of the author. In college I took a literature course on the Inklings, which lead me into a kind of a C.S. Lewis/G.K Chesterton Renaissance. A surprise to me, when I realized that Chesterton’s words of wisdom had already been influencing my life.
Coming into this New Year, it’s time to take stock of our lives and make goals. This nugget of Chestonian wisdom is one that I remember at New Years.
Society has a way of predetermining paths for us to take. There is a lot of pressure in the world, even from well-intentioned family members, for young people to go to this college, or major in this subject, or go to the law school that is their parent’s alma mater.
Many people will abdicate to society the authority to make decisions. These people find themselves with a degree they don’t want and debt they don’t need. They find themselves living somewhere they don’t like, married to someone they don’t love, and in a career that is leading them no where but to their psychiatrist’s couch.
The paradox to which Chesterton is referring is that your life will be lived by others if you don’t make the decisions necessary to keep possession of it. What you may need to do will seem risky if it goes against what your family, or your friends, or your culture tells you to do. But America is a country of risk-takers. Christianity is a faith of those who listen to their God before they listen to anyone else.
If you find yourself out of step with the pre-determined life that other are taking, then you will find yourself in good company. When making New Years resolutions for 2012, remember to be courageous and take risks. You won’t reach your God-given potential if you let society live your life.
Courtesy: A.E. Carnehl, Guest Contributor
This poem by Gilbert Keith Chesterton is found in his superb book of poetry, The Ballad of St. Barbara, from 1922.
GK's entire personal philosophy was built around Christ and His Church, and he often said that he came to this divine realization through the "absurd wonder of reality." For Chesterton, it was nothing short of absurdly wonderful that a man should have two arms and two legs, let alone a mind or a soul. Creation and everything in it was beautifully crafted by God to point to His glory.
Enjoy this poem of his:
Sunder me from my bones, O sword of God
Till they stand stark and strange as do the trees;
That I whose heart goes up with the soaring woods
May marvel as much at these.
Sunder me from my blood that in the dark
I hear that red ancestral river run
Like branching buried floods that find the sea
But never see the sun.
Give me miraculous eyes to see my eyes
Those rolling mirrors made alive in me
Terrible crystals more incredible
Than all the things they see
Sunder me from my soul, that I may see
The sins like streaming wounds, the life's brave beat
Till I shall save myself as I would save
A stranger in the street.
By: A.E. Carnehl, Contributor
G.K. Chesterton dictated his own autobiography to his secretary just weeks before he passed away in June of 1936. The Autobiography is fascinating to say the least, however, in typical Chestertonian fashion he has nothing to say about his accomplishments, successes, and even general events in his life. Rather the book is filled with anecdotes of his friends and acquaintances, and through different (usually humorous episodes) he traces the development of his thought from childhood through his agnostic and Unitarian twenties and eventually from orthodox Christianity to Roman Catholicism.
Throughout the book a reoccurring theme appears as it does often appear in GK’s other works. The theme is that of wonder or amazement at our unique and special world. Chesterton was always quick to point out that the way things are in nature and life should never be taken for granted; we are truly living in an extraordinary "fairyland." Orthodoxy can only be accepted when one accepts that all of this around us is truly worth living for. Chesterton writes:
“No man knows how much he is an optimist, even when he calls himself a pessimist, because he has not really measured the depths of his debt to whatever created him and enabled him to call himself anything. At the back of our brains, so to speak, there was a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and spiritual life was to dig for this submerged sunrise of wonder; so that a man sitting in a chair might suddenly understand that he was actually alive, and be happy”.
When he was still alive, G.K. Chesterton would usually refer to himself as a journalist rather than a Christian apologist, poet, or social critic as the rest of the world usually refers to him today (if they refer to him at all). In addition to writing multiple articles a week for a number of periodicals for over 30 years, Chesterton also wrote dozens of other books. They were collections of poetry, treatises, short stories, and even a number of novels. The following is an excerpt from one of his most interesting novels: Manalive.
In it, an enigmatic individual named Innocent Smith arrives one day at a quaint inn in London. He and his spontaneity, courage, love, and philosophy of life exemplify Chesterton’s beliefs and vision for the way a man should live his life.
"This man's spiritual power has been precisely this, that he has distinguished between custom and creed. He has broken the conventions, but he has kept the commandments. It is as if a man were found gambling wildly in a gambling hell, and you found that he only played for trouser buttons. It is as if you found a man making a clandestine appointment with a lady at a Covent Garden ball, and then you found it was his grandmother. Everything is ugly and discreditable, except the facts; everything is wrong about him, except that he has done no wrong.
"It will then be asked, `Why does Innocent Smith continued far into his middle age a farcical existence, that exposes him to so many false charges?' To this I merely answer that he does it because he really is happy, because he really is hilarious, because he really is a man and alive. He is so young that climbing garden trees and playing silly practical jokes are still to him what they once were to us all. And if you ask me yet again why he alone among men should be fed with such inexhaustible follies, I have a very simple answer to that, though it is one that will not be approved.
"There is but one answer, and I am sorry if you don't like it. If Innocent is happy, it is because he IS innocent. If he can defy the conventions, it is just because he can keep the commandments. It is just because he does not want to kill but to excite to life that a pistol is still as exciting to him as it is to a schoolboy. It is just because he does not want to steal, because he does not covet his neighbour's goods, that he has captured the trick (oh, how we all long for it!), the trick of coveting his own goods. It is just because he does not want to commit adultery that he achieves the romance of sex; it is just because he loves one wife that he has a hundred honeymoons.
If he had really murdered a man, if he had really deserted a woman, he would not be able to feel that a pistol or a love-letter was like a song-- at least, not a comic song."
"Do not imagine, please, that any such attitude is easy to me or appeals in any particular way to my sympathies. I am an Irishman, and a certain sorrow is in my bones, bred either of the persecutions of my creed, or of my creed itself. Speaking singly, I feel as if a man was tied to tragedy, and there was no way out of the trap of old age and doubt. But if there is a way out, then, by Christ and St. Patrick, this is the way out. If one could keep as happy as a child or a dog, it would be by being as innocent as a child, or as sinless as a dog. Barely and brutally to be good--that may be the road, and he may have found it.”
By: Adam E. Carnehl, Guest Contributor
If one is to study the life and times of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, he will inevitably encounter the biographical work of Maisie Ward. Ms. Ward was GKC’s first major biographer who wrote the definitive biography on him in 1936.
Ms. Ward was a good friend with both Gilbert and and his wife, Frances Chesterton, and she personally interviewed other close Chesterton family friends for her biography as well. This included people such as Hilaire Belloc, George Bernard Shaw, and H.G. Wells. Ward used these interviews to craft the most accurate and intimate portrait of Chesterton she possibly could.
In the course of the book, she includes excerpts from essays Chesterton wrote between 1903-04, which were in response to a secular-socialist journalist named Robert Blatchford. Blatchford issued a challenge from his journal Clarion to all those who might disagree with his progressive, anti-Christian writings. Chesterton answered the challenge with a handful of brilliant essays that later formed the basis for his classic spiritual autobiography Orthodoxy.
Here is an excerpt from his first essay in that series, entitled: “Christianity and Rationalism”. The excerpt includes the first and last of the four arguments he makes in favor of the Christian faith.
The first of all the difficulties that I have in controverting Mr. Blatchford is simply this, that I shall be very largely going over his own ground. My favourite text-book of theology is Blatchford's God and My Neighbour, but I cannot repeat it in detail. If I gave each of my reasons for being a Christian, a vast number of them would be Mr. Blatchford's reasons for not being one.
For instance, Mr. Blatchford and his school of thought point out that there are many myths parallel to the Christian story; that there were Pagan Christs, and Red Indian Incarnations, and Patagonian Crucifixions, for all I know or care. But does not Mr. Blatchford see the other side of the fact? If the Christian God really made the human race, would not the human race be prone to be interested in rumors and perversions of the Christian God? If the center of our life is a certain fact, would not people far from the center have a muddled version of that fact?
If we are so made that a Son of God must deliver us, is it odd that Patagonians should dream of a Son of God?
And, lastly, let me take an example which leads me on directly to the general matter I wish to discuss for the remaining space of the articles at my command. The Secularist constantly points out that the Hebrew and Christian religions began as local things; that their god was a tribal god; that they gave him material form, and attached him to particular places.
This is an excellent example of one of the things that if I were conducting a detailed campaign I should use as an argument for the validity of Biblical experience. For if there really are some other and higher beings than ourselves, and if they in some strange way, at some emotional crisis, really revealed themselves to rude poets or dreamers in very simple times, that these rude people should regard the revelation as local, and connect it with the particular hill or river where it happened, seems to me exactly what any reasonable human being would expect.
It has a far more credible look than if they had talked cosmic philosophy from the beginning.
If they had, I should have suspected "priestcraft" and forgeries and third-century gnosticism.
It's been months since I've done it, but starting this week I am ushering in a return to the weekly "G.K. Chesterton Day" here at A Voice in the Wilderness. Once a week I'll post some snippet of Chestertonian wisdom, insight, and/or humor to brighten your day. (FYI: We'll also be introducing a "Dostoyevsky Day" this summer as well!)
This time out, we'll be taking a peek at a poem that serves as the Introduction to G.K.'s classic (short) novel, The Man Who Was Thursday.
A cloud was on the mind of men, and wailing went the weather,
Yea, a sick cloud upon the soul when we were boys together.
Science announced nonentity and art admired decay;
The world was old and ended: but you and I were gay;
Round us in antic order their crippled vices came --
Lust that had lost its laughter, fear that had lost its shame.
Like the white lock of Whistler, that lit our aimless gloom,
Men showed their own white feather as proudly as a plume.
Life was a fly that faded, and death a drone that stung;
The world was very old indeed when you and I were young.
They twisted even decent sin to shapes not to be named:
Men were ashamed of honour; but we were not ashamed.
Weak if we were and foolish, not thus we failed, not thus;
When that black Baal blocked the heavens he had no hymns from us
Children we were -- our forts of sand were even as weak as eve,
High as they went we piled them up to break that bitter sea.
Fools as we were in motley, all jangling and absurd,
When all church bells were silent our cap and beds were heard.
Not all unhelped we held the fort, our tiny flags unfurled;
Some giants laboured in that cloud to lift it from the world.
I find again the book we found, I feel the hour that flings
Far out of fish-shaped Paumanok some cry of cleaner things;
And the Green Carnation withered, as in forest fires that pass,
Roared in the wind of all the world ten million leaves of grass;
Or sane and sweet and sudden as a bird sings in the rain --
Truth out of Tusitala spoke and pleasure out of pain.
Yea, cool and clear and sudden as a bird sings in the grey,
Dunedin to Samoa spoke, and darkness unto day.
But we were young; we lived to see God break their bitter charms.
God and the good Republic come riding back in arms:
We have seen the City of Mansoul, even as it rocked, relieved --
Blessed are they who did not see, but being blind, believed.
This is a tale of those old fears, even of those emptied hells,
And none but you shall understand the true thing that it tells --
Of what colossal gods of shame could cow men and yet crash,
Of what huge devils hid the stars, yet fell at a pistol flash.
The doubts that were so plain to chase, so dreadful to withstand --
Oh, who shall understand but you; yea, who shall understand?
The doubts that drove us through the night as we two talked amain,
And day had broken on the streets e'er it broke upon the brain.
Between us, by the peace of God, such truth can now be told;
Yea, there is strength in striking root and good in growing old.
We have found common things at last and marriage and a creed,
And I may safely write it now, and you may safely read.
-G. K. C.
I've always gotten the chills from this poem, and I can't even fully say why. Maybe one of you can tell me why? Or what you think of it?
(Note: If you have a passage from Chesterton that you would like to submit, send it and an explanation of why you like that particular excerpt to me at firstname.lastname@example.org)