G.K. Chesterton

When Catholics Fight Back

SB 360, also known as Senate Bill 360, a proposal requiring priests in California to break the sacramental seal of confession, was placed on hold by its sponsor, State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), on 9 June, right before a hearing on the bill. For months before the vote, activists in California, across the nation, [...]

Converts Who Followed Chesterton Across the Tiber

Many religious roads lead a convert to Rome, and a frequent guidebook is something written by G.K. Chesterton: often Orthodoxy. In his new collection of convert stories, My Name is Lazarus, Dale Ahlquist, the world’s greatest living Chesterton promoter, claims that he can name a couple of thousand who followed the fat journalist across the [...]

A Remedy for the Abuse of Language

The line between medicine and poison is a fine one. The same drug can cure when administered by an expert and harm, if not kill, when misapplied. Some drugs always cause harm, but are consumed for some apparent benefit; they, too, are pseudo-medicinal. This is true for souls as much as it is for bodies. [...]

In Defense of Literature

Recently I was mildly rebuked by a reader for something I wrote on The Lord of the Rings wherein I reflected on the valuable lessons from this work, as well as the life and letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, and their applications to the current crisis being faced by Catholics. “Sorry, we don’t have the luxury [...]

All Things Considered (x3)

National Public Radio’s afternoon news program, “All Things Considered,” is about big stuff and small stuff, world-shaking events and minute ephemera. In this sense, it does approximate “all things,” indeed, and I’ve been a devoted fan since Terry, my college roomie, clued me in nearly 40 years ago. “What is this anyway?” I asked him [...]

Last Crusade Calling Lost Christendom to War! “Lepanto” by G.K. Chesterton

On Sunday, October 7th, in the year of Our Lord 1571, an outnumbered, fragile coalition of small Christian states and one small part of a big Christian state defeated an empire at sea just off the coast of Greece. All of Europe rejoiced at the time, even the Christian states that refused help. Now, among the [...]

The Last Defender of Reason and the Human Body

G.K. Chesterton said, at the end of his fine biography The Dumb Ox, that Thomas Aquinas ought to be called “Saint Thomas of the Creation.” That is because Thomas defended the integrity, the beauty, the intelligibility, and the real and not notional existence of things, good old created things, fire and flood, flowers and grass, birds [...]

Spiritual Pride and Honest Humility in G.K. Chesterton’s “The Hammer of God”

Of the many symptoms and manifestations of pride—disobedience, stubbornness, willfulness, boastfulness, vanity, presumption, arrogance—spiritual pride does not express itself in such visible, noticeable ways as these other attributes. In Chesterton’s short story “The Hammer of God” the Reverend Wilfred Bohun enjoys the reputation of a holy Anglican priest who lives an austere life of self-denial [...]

The Blood-Soaked Seas of Reason: Robert Louis Stevenson and Chesterton as Literary Critics

The craft of the painter or the sculptor, G.K. Chesterton would contend, can reveal, like a law, the rich complexity of reality: this law of fine art (when done finely) curbs man’s passion to control and dominate. It is a law which encourages man’s desire for standing in wonder for the Truth and its vastness. [...]

The Value of Unexpected Friendships

America has weathered the most divisive presidential election in recent memory, and the first round of family gatherings since then, with many Thanksgiving meals expected to have been free-for-all food fights, with turkey drumsticks flying, no doubt. But we are getting along in the new reality, for the most part, and most friendships and family [...]

Chestertonian Common Sense on “Uncommon” Adultery

In The Superstition of Divorce, G.K. Chesterton notes the absurdities of transfiguring marriage into an “ideal,” a “counsel of perfection” akin to monastic life. “A man might be reverently pointed out in the street as a sort of saint, merely because he was married,” Chesterton says. “A man might wear a medal for monogamy; or [...]

Dealing Life: A Review of Manalive by G.K. Chesterton

“What does 'literature' have to do with saving one’s soul?” This question surely has a long and distinguished lineage, all the way back to the Church Father Tertullian, who asked a similar question about the value of pagan philosophy for Christian study: “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?” Far from being an obstacle to [...]

Catholics, Chesterton and Concealed Carry

One of GK Chesterton’s central themes was the necessity of gratitude. Here’s a characteristic passage. All my mental doors open outwards into a world I have not made. My last door of liberty opens upon a world of sun and solid things, of objective adventures. The post in the garden; the thing I neither create [...]

The Body Beautiful and the Assumption of Mary

The age of the "body beautiful" will now become the age of the Assumption.  ∼ Ven. Fulton Sheen “I am empowered by my body,” Kim Kardashian declared back on International Women’s Day, voicing triumph in an infamous nude selfie. In a society that worships the brazen sensuality of the body beautiful while eviscerating any link between [...]

Fanatical Ideas and Reasonable Convictions

A fanatic is a person obsessed with one idea, a monomaniac ruled by one dominant compulsion that governs all his thoughts and actions. He is enslaved by one predominant passion that dictates all his motives and decisions. Ruled by revenge, Captain Ahab in Moby Dick is determined to hunt and kill the white whale that [...]

The Death of Harambe: Comedy or Tragedy?

On Memorial Day 2016, a day to remember and mourn the sacrifice of America’s war heroes, dozens of people gathered in Cincinnati to mourn and remember a gorilla. Over the Memorial Day weekend, a 3-year-old boy slipped through the barricades at the Cincinnati Zoo into the gorilla enclosure. The horrified crowd screamed as the child [...]

Heroism in the Land of Dragons

Human history contains plenty of dragons. It was the serpent, the most cunning of all the animals (Gen 3:1) who frightened Adam from the side of Eve: she who was taken from his side, and thus should have been inseparable from her protector. The serpent then frightened Eve away from her God, and has turned [...]

Why Children Should Permit Busy Adults to Read Fairy Tales Aloud During Christmastide

I find that there really are human beings who think fairy tales bad for children. I do not speak of the man in the green tie, for him I can never count truly human. But a lady has written me an earnest letter saying that fairy tales ought not to be taught to children even [...]

Only God Could Tell This Tale

When our children were very young—full of beans and wonder—I would often tell them the story of young Henry, whose mother had wisely packed him a sandwich and apple before sending him and his little dog off to explore a distant and dangerous world. His travels took them as far as the backyard where, encircled [...]

Homesick at Home: A Chestertonian Thanksgiving

“Frances! Come here! Come here at once!” Frances Chesterton started and flew from her half-prepared afternoon tea to the study where she had left her husband reading. With flapping apron and flitting heart, she rushed to see what he could possibly be bellowing about so urgently. His voice had not ceased to call for her [...]

GKC’s The Napoleon of Notting Hill: How to Be a Catholic Lunatic

America stands in need of a new revolution to free itself from the tyranny of bureaucracy and the ensuing slavery of boredom. Such freedom is difficult to depict even in the land of the free, because the United States is losing its identity as the home of the brave. Cowardice, termed “tolerance,” is the marching [...]

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