Gods Behind the Gods

“Between this sunken pride and the towering humilities of heaven there are, one must suppose, spirits of shapes and sizes. Man, in encountering them, must make much the same mistakes that he makes in encountering any other varied types in any other distant continent. It must be hard at first to know who is supreme and who is subordinate. If a shade arose from the under world, and stared at Piccadilly, that shade would not quite understand the idea of an ordinary closed carriage. He would suppose that the coachman on the box was a triumphant conqueror, dragging behind him a kicking and imprisoned captive. So, if we see spiritual facts for the first time, we may mistake who is uppermost. It is not enough to find the gods; they are obvious; we must find God, the real chief of the gods.”

GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy

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A Constant Fighting

“The Christian life is a constant fighting. ‘What! are we to have no peace?’ No; none till there is no sin left in you, till you are pure as Jesus Christ Himself. You are always crying out for peace, and you are as the workman that will go to sleep half the day and complain that he has not wages enough to live upon. What! You are getting to heaven cheap? You call it ‘getting into heaven.’ You think Jesus Christ came to save you from any suffering and to do you good. He came to save you from your sins, and until you are saved from them, He will step between you and no suffering. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous, therefore, and repent.”

George MacDonald, To the Church of the Laodiceans

What is to come

What is to come we know not. But we know

That what has been was good – was good to show,

Better to hide and best of all to bear,

We are the masters of the days that were;

We have lived, we have loved, we have suffered… Even so.

Shall we not take the ebb who had the flow?

Life was our friend? Now, if it be our foe–

Dear, though it spoil and break us! – Need we care what is to come?

Let the great winds their worst and wildest blow,

Or the cold weather round us mellow slow;

We have fulfilled ourselves, and we can dare

And we can conquer, though we may not share

In the rich quiet of the afterglow

What is to come.

William Earnest Henley

A Pilgrimage of Discovery

“I find everywhere, even in his mere diction and syntax, that thing that is the whole philosophy of fairy-tales, of the old romances and even of the absurd libretto of the little theater – the conception that man is born with hope and courage indeed, but born outside that which he was meant to attain; there is a quest, a test, a trial by combat or pilgrimage of discovery; in other words, whatever else man is he is not sufficient to himself, either through peace or through despair. The very movement of the sentence is the movement of man going somewhere and generally fighting something; and that is where optimism and pessimism are alike opposed to that ultimate or potential peace, which the violent take by storm.”

GK Chesterton, on Robert Louis Stevenson

On Forgiveness, with CS Lewis

“He doesn’t say that we are to forgive other people’s sins provided they are not too frightful, or provided there are extenuating circumstances, or anything of that sort. We are to forgive them all, however spiteful, however mean, however often they are repeated.”

– CS Lewis