Isn’t it an amazing feeling when you read a book or an article and feel that the author has really captured your own thoughts about something? When you find yourself nodding along as you read? When you read words written before you were born and feel that the writer really “got it”? That’s how I feel reading G.K. Chesterton.
This was a man of great appetites: intellectual, spiritual, and physical. He weighed upward of 300 pounds, and “liked his beer and Burgundy.” He wrote around 80 books, several hundred poems, 200 short stories, 4000 essays, and several plays. He was a literary and social critic, historian, playwright, novelist, Catholic theologian and apologist, debater, and mystery writer. He was a columnist for the Daily News, The Illustrated London News, and his own paper, G.K.'s Weekly; he also wrote entries for the Encyclopedia Britannica. (How did he find the time?)
When he embraced God, he did so wholeheartedly, repudiating first atheism and then even the Church of England, finding the latter a pale reflection of the Catholic Church.
His writing is timeless. “Progress,” he writes in Orthodoxy, “should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision; instead, we are always changing the vision.” There’s a clear takeaway here for everyone: his witty aphorisms deliver enduring truths, truths that can enrich lives in our century and—hopefully!—many to come.
Postulant Allison Gliot will be joining Jeannette de Beauvoir for the next Booktalk with the Daughters of St. Paul to talk about Way of Wonder, a collection of the writings of G.K. Chesterton.
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by Jeannette de Beauvoir