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Friday, March 26, 2010


Brian J. Schuettler

It was a happy chance that Chesterton lived before the era of television. His gifts, his amiability, his very simple eccentricities would have tempted him to become one of the great performers on that damning machine. He lived on the edge of the chasm. Men still had to express themselves in writing until Chesterton was too well habituated to literature to learn new tricks. Living today his words would be lost, his prestige prodigious and his renown brief.

“In his commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, St Thomas makes the terrible statement that continuous success in temporal affairs may, in some cases, be a sign of reprobation. It seems, in those cases, as if God wishes to reward in this life acts that are valueless for heaven. Speaking of the virtues of Cyrus and Alexander, St Augustine considers that God raised up these men ‘for the adornment of this present age. There have been numbers of great artists and geniuses who have worked for the world of culture and neglected the warnings given by love. St Augustine held that they have received their reward in this life, a reward that was futile, as they were futile. Soren Kierkegaard’s terrible remark: ‘God is so great a Lord that, far from making it difficult, he makes it exceedingly easy to deceive him; he goes so far as to give his prizes to the deceivers and to reward them with all the goods of the earth. Though time may redeem the work of a poet, as Shelley said, and remove its poison, it does not redeem his soul” (THE MEANING OF GRACE – Cardinal Charles Journet).

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