Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thursday Post

In our Lenten journey toward the Skull-Hill we are conducting a
Chestertonian review of the Sorrowful Mysteries, following Jesus in His
last hours on earth. It is humbling to attempt such a study, for even
those of us who claim that GKC wrote about everything can find it
difficult when the focus is placed on things which (one guesses) GKC
preferred not to explore. True, he wrote a 12 page commentary on
Brangwyn's art for the Stations of the Cross, which you can find in CW3
- but the Stations only begin with "Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death"
whereas the first three Sorrowful Mysteries precede that Station.

So I have to disappoint you a little. I have not been able to find GKC
speaking specifically about this particular scene. Frankly, it is not
unexpected - all throughout the above-mentioned comments on the Stations
- and even when we come to the Crucifixion - GKC preserves a certain
reticence. As I quoted last week, "of what use are words about such
words as these?"

But I shall offer two short excerpts from his masterwork of masterworks,
mentioning scenes somewhat adjacent chronologically to the Scourging,
which I think may help us ponder a little more of what was going on at
that time:

As the High Priest asked what further need he had of witnesses, we might
well ask what further need we have of words. Peter in a panic repudiated
him: and immediately the cock crew, and Jesus looked upon Peter, and
Peter went out and wept bitterly. Has anyone any further remarks to
[GKC The Everlasting Man CW2:341]

When Jesus was brought before the judgment-seat of Pontius Pilate, he
did not vanish. It was the crisis and the goal; it was the hour and the
power of darkness. It was the supremely supernatural act of all his
miraculous life, that he did not vanish.
[ibid CW2:340]


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A first time comment (with a nudge from a regular).

    I am intrigued by Mr. Chesterton speaking on the Way of the Cross. So that will find my attention soon. But as we reflect on Lent, I feel as though I should offer to all of the fellow fish-eaters here a treasure I have been introduced to by a good friend.

    Dom Gueranger's "The Liturgical Year" is a fifteen volume set of his writings for each day of the year corresponding to the old liturgical calendar. They have made this Lent for both me and my family the most meaningful yet. The author was a Benedictine Abbot and though some may not know him, he was quite prolific. Saint Therese's father used to read "The Liturgical Year" to her when she was a child.

    Thanks for having me. I'll try not to be so quiet.

    Dominus Vobiscum,

  3. Oh, yes, an excellent recommendation! An inspirational treasure. In case anyone is wondering, Loreto Publications publishes it.

    Incidentally not only will you find GKC on the Stations in CW3 - it also has The Catholic Church and Conversion, Why I Am A Catholic and Where All Roads Lead besides his The Thing and The Well and the Shallows.

    But don't forget to re-read the chapter "The Strangest Story In the World" from The Everlasting Man (which is in CW2).

    Thanks Stu!
    --Dr. T.

  4. Hello Stu! Welcome!

    I am familiar with The Liturgical Year, but have never read it. For my daily mental prayer, I use In Conversation with God, which also has readings for every day of the year, based on the new calendar. It is by an Opus Dei priest, Fr. Francis Fernandez.

  5. I love In Conversation and am reading it daily now for Lent.

    Thanks for the resources, Dr. T.

    Welcome Stu! Comment early and often!


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