Sunday, July 19, 2009

St. Chesterton (maybe)

We'll work on "Blessed" first.

I think of him that way already, but I wanted to throw this Zenit interview out there, given that a formal beatification would be a pretty big deal. Let me go a bit further and say that, should Chesterton ever be canonized, he should immediately be considered for the title of Doctor of the Church. For that matter, it would be a huge step in rehabilitating Catholic intellectual thought of the 20th century. The post-conciliar era has created this impression that every major Catholic thinker that wasn't named Ratzinger or Wojtyla must have been cast in the mold of whackjobs like Charles Curran or Hans Kung.

Anyways, a push for guys like Chesterton, or even more philosophical/theological figures like von Hildebrand and Garrigou-Lagrange, would be a marvelous remedy for helping iron out some of the lingering chaos.

The whole thing is pretty interesting. Let's pray for a serious (and successful) undertaking in this direction.

Chesterton's proposal is to take all of reality seriously, beginning with the interior reality of man, and to confidently make use of the intellect, that is to say, of common sense, in its original sanity, purified of every ideological incrustation.

One rarely reads pages that speak of faith, conversion and doctrine that are so clear and incisive, while being free of every sentimental or moralistic excess. This comes from Chesterton's attentive reading of reality; he knew that the most harmful consequence of de-Christianization has not been the grave ethical straying but rather the straying of reason, synthesized in this critique of his: The modern world has suffered a mental fall much greater than the moral one.

Faced to this reality, Chesterton chose Catholicism, and affirms that there are at least 10,000 reasons to justify this choice, every one of them valid and well-founded, but able to be boiled down to one reason: That Catholicism is true. The responsibility and the task of the Church then consist in this: In the courage to believe, in the first place, and therefore to denounce the paths that lead to nothingness or destruction, to a blind wall or a prejudice. An undoubtedly holy work, and the holiness of Gilbert Chesterton, which I hope the Church will recognize, already shines and sparkles before the world.


Alexander said...

I'm not sure about this one. Boniface made a post about. You should check it out.

Throwback said...

I don't think Boniface and I are really disagreeing. Note that he's not saying that Chesterton shouldn't be considered. He's just saying that he doesn't know and neither does the guy in the article.

I'm not making a claim as to whether Chesterton should or shouldn't be canonized. I'm saying that if he is canonized, his writings are just the sort of stuff that the Church should be promoting.

I think that there is plenty of good stuff about average folks being sainted. Matt Talbot for example. However, it seems to me that folks are really downplaying the current intellectual crisis in the Church, where the belief in any kind of absolute is not taken seriously. Chesterton's stuff could be a good remedy for that.

I do think of Chesterton as being in heaven already, though. I consider Matt Talbot and JRR Tolkien in the same way.