G.K. Chesterton; on being a supernaturally created being in a fallen world

“I had often called myself an optimist, to avoid to avoid the too obvious blasphemy of pessimism. But all the optimism of the age had been false and disheartening for this reason, it was always trying to prove that we fit into this world. But the Christian optimism is based on the fact that we do not fit in to the world.  


I had tried to be happy by telling myself that man is an animal, like any other that sought its meat from God. But now I was really happy, for I had learnt that man is a monstrosity. I had been right in feeling all things as odd, for, I myself was at once worse and better than all things.

The optimist’s pleasure was prosaic, for it dwelt on the naturalness of everything; the Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everything in the light of the supernatural. The modern philosopher had told me again and again that I was in the right place, and I had felt depressed even in acquiescence.

But I had heard I was in the wrong place, and my soul sang for joy, like a bird in spring.

The knowledge …illuminated forgotten chambers in the dark house of (my) infancy. I knew now why grass had always seemed as queer to me as the green beard of a giant. and why I could feel homesick at home.”

Chesterton, 1908, Orthodoxy, pp.85-86

About notmanynoble

woodcutter from Washington State
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