Friday, April 6, 2012

G. K. Chesterton Quotes on Christianity

(Culled from  Kevin Morris’ anthology of the religious writings of Chesterton, The Truest Fairy Tale.)

Religion is exactly the thing that cannot be left out – because it includes everything. (Chapter 20)

Christianity rests on two or three paradoxes or mysteries which can easily be impugned in argument and as easily justified in life. One is the paradox of hope or faith – that the more hopeless is the situation the more hopeful must be the man. . . .   Another is the paradox of charity or chivalry that the weaker a thing is the more it should be respected, that the more indefensible a thing is the more it should appeal to us for a certain kind of defense.  (Chapter 9)

One of the very practical and working mysteries in the Christian tradition is the conception of the sinfulness of pride.  Pride is a weakness in the character; it dries up laughter, it dries up wonder, it dries up chivalry. (Chapter 9)

Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all.  Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate.  The virtue of hope exists only in earthquake and eclipse.  For practical purposes it is at the hopeless moment that we require the hopeful man, and the virtue either does not exist at all, or begins to exist at that moment.  Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful.  (Chapter 12)

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