Monday, December 29, 2008

Mondays with Chesterton

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at
Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Conversation at Bedtime (or, St. Joseph don't get no respect)

Kenny: Crissmiss comin!
Me: That's right, Kenny. Are you ready to welcome Baby Jesus on his birthday?
Kenny: Yesh!
Me: Good. Do you know who Jesus's mommy is?
Kenny: Maaarrrrreeeeee!!!!
Me: That's right. Who is Jesus's Daddy?
Kenny: Um .... God.
Me: Very good. Jesus is God's son and he sent him to be born here as a little baby like your brother Paul because he loves us. But do you know who was Jesus's daddy on earth? ...

Kenny: staring blankly

Me: ... someone who lived with him and Mary and taught him things and played with him and protected him?

long pause. and then ...

Kenny: Oh, I know! Sheep!

Mondays with G.K.

I have a number of posts in various stages of draft, but am having trouble finishing them. In an effort to unclog the blogger's block, I figured a gimmick might be in order. So here is the first installment of Mondays with G.K., where I'll post each week a timely (at least to my mind) excerpt from Chesterton's writings, sometimes with my commentary, but hopefully not enough to ruin it.

At Christmas we do our best to give shelter to the Christ Child in our homes and our hearts. Here Chesterton turns that around to an even deeper truth: that in the very act of God becoming homeless, we will find our own true home.

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.

Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost---how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.

This world is wild as an old wife's tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall all men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.