Monday, January 4, 2010

Comments of the Week

We’ve been having fun discussing GK Chesterton’s Orthodoxy in the YIM Catholic Book Club. (And if you want to help choose the next book we read, click here.)

Two of the week’s best comments were attached to the post for Chesterton, Chapter 7, “The Eternal Revolution.”

EPG wrote, beginning with a quote from the Chesterton chapter:

"For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity."

I also loved this passage, and it reminded me of the two quotes C.S. Lewis placed at the beginning of "The Scewtape Letters."

The first, admittedly, may not be the most popular guy to quote on a Catholic website: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn." Martin Luther.

The second, Webster will appreciate: "The devill, the prowde spirite . . . cannot endure to be mocked." Thomas More.

These two, and Lewis, and Chesterton, are all reminding us that the foundation of all sins, our pride, weighs us down more than any chain anyone could devise for us. The ability to laugh, without malice, keeps us light on our feet, light in our minds, and open to little flashes of joy with which we are from time to time blessed.

Which, somehow, reminds me of the apocryphal story about the great actor who was lying on his deathbed. Asked if dying was hard, he replied, yes, but not as hard as farce.

The second quote is from Warren Jewell, one of our most faithful and (to judge by his mug shot and comments) most joyous readers. Warren writes:

Let us not forget that, like a self-entertaining child, GKC loved the idea of seeing the world upside-down while on his head. The man was full of mirthful notions, and could take nothing earthbound very “seriously.” He found that he needed the supernatural to round out his smiles with the joy of serious regard for eternal salvation in Christ and religion with His Church.

Marriage is an earthly version of the only bondage that matters — life bondage to beloved here that mirrors the eternal bondage to Christ. Even Christ saw Himself as Bridegroom to His Church, His disciples. (And, I suggest, bridesmaid ladies, keeping a religious 55-gallon drum of oil available for lighting His way to His beloved. Though, I have to think that this parable incorporated Christ's sense of humor, imagining me in a bridesmaid dress. ("Whatchuguys laughin' at? See, I got my lamp!")

Yet, marriage and discipleship are both two-way bonds. They are unities that take both parties coming together and assenting to unite. If I in my persistent sins turn my back on Christ, as I have done too many times, He 'can't get there from here' because I chose to attempt to be out of His sight and off His path.

(I know, I know - "Is he done yet? Save some com-box space for the rest of us, fella.")

Ah, Warren, keep the comments and laughs coming! Thanks to all for joining the YIMC caravan as we careen through the joys of being Catholic.