A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

"The disadvantage of men not knowing the past is that they do not know the present."

The disadvantage of men not knowing the past is that they do not know the present. History is a hill or high point of vantage from which alone men see the town in which they live or the age in which they are living. Without some such contrast or comparison, without some such shifting of the point of view, we should see nothing whatever of our social surroundings. We should take them for granted, as the only possible social surroundings. We should be as unconscious of them as we are, for the most part, of the hair growing on our heads or the air passing through our lungs. It is the variety of the human story that brings out sharply the last turn that the road has taken, and it is the view under the arch of the gateway which tells us that we are entering a town.

-June 18, 1932, Illustrated London News

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Words are sometimes more important than deeds."

In many ethical societies and ethical discussions which I have attended it was asserted, or rather assumed, that deeds were important and words were not. I even remember some modern moralists' pressing upon me a book called "Creed and Deed," in which I believe the importance of the latter was contrasted with the unimportance of the former. The same view prevails very largely about all collections of words in comparison with action. I pass over the not uninteresting preliminary fact that words are deeds. The case is much stronger than that. People talk as if reasons and explanations were not important; as a matter of fact they are the only thing that is important. From a man's deeds you can only discover what he does; you must listen to his words to discover what he means. When he acts you will only learn what he has succeeded in doing. But when he speaks you will have learnt what he was trying to do. If I have to make a selection between Creed and Deed (I should prefer them both) I should certainly select Creed.

...What impresses us is not a man's actions, but his avowed reasons for his actions. Words are sometimes more important than deeds. If a man in a crowd says to us, with polite expression, "Let me pass," we do not mind his passing. If he says, "Let me pass, because I am a fine handsome fellow of manifest high breeding, while you are clearly from your appearance a somewhat distasteful cad," then the practical action, which was in the first case harmless, becomes in the second case insupportable. The first request is one to be granted at the first flash; the second is one to be resisted to the last drop of the blood. Yet in both cases the ultimate external action is the same.

-February 2, 1907, Illustrated London News

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The governing class does not care for anything except one thing, which has many names, but by the common people is quaintly called Money.

-February 28, 1914, Daily Herald

We are not divided now into those who know and those who do not know. We are divided now into those who care and those who do not care

-December 20, 1918, New Witness

[Both quotes found in Gilbert Magazine, July/August 2013]

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why Chesterton Will Be a Saint

Not every saint is a mystic. Not every mystic is a saint. And not every 300-pound, cigar-smoking journalist is both a saint and a mystic. But I’m quite sure at least one of them is. And I’m not alone in that opinion. 

Father Wild’s book is especially well-timed. I was recently taken to task by a reviewer because I had suggested in my book The Complete Thinker that G.K. Chesterton is a mystic. And so it is convenient to have suddenly at my disposal an entire book written in defense of that one statement. But the book is well-timed for another reason. Father Wild not only argues quite convincingly that Chesterton is a mystic, but by the end of the book he also makes the case that Chesterton is a saint. Things appear to be heating up in that regard, too. And Father Wild is not just blowing holy smoke. He knows what the Church requires for sainthood. He is the postulator in the cause for Catherine de Houck Dougherty, who, incidentally, was also a mystic....

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I have become a pilgrim to cure myself of being an exile.

-Manalive (1912)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"...our current archbishop Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio encourages us in our aspiration to see the initiation of the cause of Chesterton to the altars. He has given his approval to the text of a private prayer to that purpose."

-From a letter written by an Argentinian ambassador, on March 10, 2013 (Three days later Cardinal Bergoglio became Pope Francis)

For more information, you can watch the recorded video of the August 2013 Virtual Society Meeting [for the American Chesterton Society], where this is mentioned.


Also, a good post:

"Saint" G.K. Chesterton? Cause Moves Forward

Monday, August 5, 2013

Scripture says that one star differeth from another in glory, and the same conception applies to noses. To insist that one type of face is ugly because it differs from that of the Venus of Milo is to look at it entirely in a misleading light. It is strange that we should resent people differing from ourselves; we should resent much more violently their resembling ourselves. This principle has made a sufficient hash of literary criticism, in which it is always the custom to complain of the lack of sound logic in a fairy tale, and the entire absence of true oratorical power in a three-act farce. But to call another man's face ugly because it powerfully expresses another man's soul is like complaining that a cabbage has not two legs. If we did so, the only course for the cabbage would be to point out with severity, but with some show of truth, that we were not a beautiful green all over.

-The Defendant (1901)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"How in blazes do you know all these horrors?" cried Flambeau.

The shadow of a smile crossed the round, simple face of his clerical opponent.

"Oh, by being a celibate simpleton, I suppose," he said. "Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil? But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren't a priest."

"What?" asked the thief, almost gaping.

"You attacked reason," said Father Brown. "It's bad theology."

-The Innocence of Father Brown (1911)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dale Ahlquist on the news mentioned yesterday on this blog (i.e., of the beginning of the process being started which hopefully will open the cause for G.K. Chesterton's canonization.)


Friday, August 2, 2013

Some rather exciting news (to put it mildly) reported at the annual conference of the American Chesterton Society last night...

Martin Thompson says that Bishop Peter Doyle 'has given me permission to report that the Bishop of Northampton is sympathetic to our wishes and is seeking a suitable cleric to begin an investigation into the potential for opening a cause for Chesterton.'"


Now just waiting for more details. :-)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

There are two equal and eternal ways of looking at this twilight world of ours: we may see it as the twilight of evening or the twilight of morning; we may think of anything, down to a fallen acorn, as a descendant or as an ancestor. There are times when we are almost crushed, not so much with the load of the evil as with the load of the goodness of humanity, when we feel that we are nothing but the inheritors of a humiliating splendour. But there are other times when everything seems primitive, when the ancient stars are only sparks blown from a boy's bonfire, when the whole earth seems so young and experimental that even the white hair of the aged, in the fine biblical phrase, is like almond-trees that blossom, like the white hawthorn grown in May. That it is good for a man to realize that he is 'the heir of all the ages' is pretty commonly admitted; it is a less popular but equally important point that it is good for him sometimes to realize that he is not only an ancestor, but an ancestor of primal antiquity; it is good for him to wonder whether he is not a hero, and to experience ennobling doubts as to whether he is not a solar myth.

-The Defendant (1901)