Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Readings: Good-bye to ORTHODOXY
My last post consisted of three excerpts from G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy which were controversial enough to evoke a bit of discussion in the comments section. I didn't choose them because they are controversial; they chose me by striking a sympathetic chord in my conscience. That said, I have no doubt that Chesterton meant the ideas presented by each of them to be striking, if not scandalous, to his readers. I've finished reading Orthodoxy now, but I had one last excerpt squirreled away, and I shall present it below. This one is not controversial, I think; but I like it. It describes a state of mind which, on some of my better days, I catch a rare glimpse of:
Plato told you a truth; but Plato is dead. Shakespeare has startled you
with an image; but Shakespeare will not startle you with any more. But
imagine what it would be to live with such men still living, to know that Plato might break out with an original lecture tomorrow, or that at any moment Shakespeare might shatter everything with a single song. The man who lives in contact with what he believes to be a living Church is a man always expecting to meet Plato and Shakespeare tomorrow at breakfast. He is always expecting to see some truth that he has never seen before.