Monday, January 30, 2012

iTunes U

There are so many opportunities now to gain directed education with little or no money. Most people turn to Wikipedia, which is in many cases a good start but is far from comprehensive and sometimes misinformed.

Oddly enough, Apple has provided a much better form of cheap or free education through the app iTunes U. It provides so many opportunities to grow in knowledge of everything from biology to leadership courses.

The first course I have endeavored upon is from Open University on creative writing (imagine a blogger learning about creative writing). My desire is to eventually to fulfill the lifelong desire to write mysteries. I have yet the skills and knowledge to create well that which would be considered a decent story.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Thoughts - Human Culture Reveals God

Human culture is a form of the imitatio dei. - Raymond van Leeuwen

As you know, I like to delve into our culture and pull out that which God has retained in it that reveals Him. As I was reading for my class on Wisdom Literature, I came across this quote.

Wisdom literature, in much modern scholarship, is seen as extra-pious or beyond piety. It speaks of morals and other such ways of living. It rarely mentions the divine name, LORD. It is the most pagan, they say, part of the Bible. It takes most of its stuff from outside of the Hebrew culture.

van Leeuwen's point is that human culture, in general, reveals God. By its being human it reveals God. It can never not reveal God no matter how distorted and perverted it becomes. We can look at the Western Culture, the American culture in particular, and think we're doomed. We are going to down the road of Rome. We will sputter out into a void of disintegration.

I have mentioned before Belloc's Europe and the Faith. One of his main arguments was that Roman civilization didn't die. It rose to new life within the Church. As our civilization declines, the same opportunity can occur. In part, this happened in Russia after 1989. Much was turned back to Orthodox Church. The faith there flourished. Our steadfastness in faith will the witness to secular man. Where civilization seems to fall the Church rises from the rubble to show that we stand on the rock of Christ. Persevere dear Christian. Do not loose faith in God. Do not loose faith in humanity. The weeds have grown up with the wheat, and as history reveals, at certain times a purging fire passes through. Clearing that which cannot live on its own.

Look for and amplify that which is of God in our culture. Set aside that which is false and magnify the truth.

"I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!" Luke 12:49

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Thoughts - Christian Unity Requires Holiness

We have brothers and sister who are separate not by their creed, but by their theology, by their practice. Due to the brokenness of the Reformers they find themselves inheritors of the brokenness.

There are many different ideas and motives for achieving unity between us and our other Christian brethren. Some of them have great theoligical grounding based on the great insights to ecumenism provided by the documents of Vatican II and some are led by an irenisism that seeks to compromise.

For Christian unity to be achieved there requires one thing above all things, unity with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If those who are working toward Christian are not holy in the purest sense of that word unity will only be eon the surface. True unity only occurs in and through Jesus Christ and holiness is confonformity with Christ.

When we pray, then, for Christian unity, part of that prayer must be for us and those who are working for it, grow in holiness.

Monday, January 16, 2012

O Great God Give Us Rest!

In order to understand what follows, it would be best to watch the video at the link below:

Ecumenism. In case you haven't been on iTunes in the last week, you might be surprised to hear that the David Crowder* Band has released their final album, a Requiem Mass (co-authored by our boy Matt Maher). That album jumped to the top of the charts (not the Christian charts, THE charts) the day it came out. It has remained in the top 5 ever since. David Crowder is a southern baptist, a representative of Baylor University and a well versed theologian, outside of being an evagelical worship leader. Two decades ago (not to mention two centuries ago), a man from the Calvinist tradition who wrote a Mass "centered on the beauty of the Eucharist" would be kicked out of his denomination, much as the Eucharist itself was physically kicked to the curb by the first protesting iconoclasts. Now, just as it is most decidedly NOT my intention to speculate on whether or not Mr. Crowder is moving toward Rome, I also have no intention of opening up old wounds. The atorocities of the 30 year's war, the scandal of Henry VIII and the happenings of the Huguenots belong to another age, when the West was all Christian and the differences between Catholics and Protestants resulted in some of the gravest sins in history. As both protestants and Pope have admited, there was guilt on both sides. However, when I read the history of that hideous period, what disturbs me the most is the sacrelige commited by fellow Christians against the Body of Christ. We burned each other, members of that Body, at the stake and poured the Sacred Host and Precious Wine out upon the pavement. The horror of our actions should silence any finger pointing, especially now that we are centuries out from the scandal.

Now, look where we are. Maybe it is the openess of our society. Maybe the providence of time has helped heal all wounds. Maybe it is the fact that we Christians have been forced to cooperate in a strange new era, no longer having the luxury to carry out our family fued across Christendom. What was Christendom, what was our family home, has become a secularist, consumeristic, materialistic, hedonistic parody of all we hold dear. Now, more than ever, Christians must turn to truth where ever it is found. David Crowder, definitely son of these times, has discovered that Truth can be found in the Eucharist. And he has not refrained from giving glory where glory is due. At the behest of Bl John Paul II, many Catholics have found ways to praise the Lord through song styles that our fathers would call too worldly or worthless. And we have not refrained from using them to give God the glory. Now, five centuries out from our great split, Catholics and Protestants are once more praising the Sacred Host together.

This fact does not represent the end of anything, except perhaps the end of the beginning, (to borrow a phrase from Churchill). Can we dare to look forward to a future where we will no longer debate about the Blessed Sacrament, but can commit ourselves to adoring it together? I certainly hope so. But I am ambitious and hope for more than that. I hope that we have come to a point where sacred silence before that Saving Victim can truly begin to heal our divisions. Singing is a great place to begin ecumenism, but the sacraments are the only place that it can end. I am barely a theologian. I am nothing close to a minister. However, I am a child of the Church, and I must say that, though I cannot pretend to know where all this is going, I am content to kneel at the altar with Mr. Crowder. Or Mr. Tony Blair. Or whatever other leaders decided to come around to the Eucharist. Our sad division began at the foot of the altar: let us hope that it's ending may begin there as well.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Thoughts - O My God, Help Me to Remember

I  apologize for not having a Friday Thought this week. This week caught up with me too fast. Instead, I simply you offer you this:

A prayer by St. Alphonsus Ligouri

O my God, help me to remember -
That time is short, eternity is long.
What good is all the greatness of this world at the hour of death?
To love You, my God, and save my soul is the one thing necessary.
Without You, there is no peace, no joy.
My God, I need fear nothing but sin.
For to lose You, my God, is to lose all.
0 my God, help me to remember -
That to gain all I must leave all,
That in loving You I have all good things: the infinite riches of Christ and His
Church, the motherly protection of Mary,
peace beyond understanding, joy unspeakable!

Eternal Father, your Son has promised that whatever we ask in His Name will be given to us. In His Name I pray: give me a burning faith, a joyful hope, a holy love for Jesus Christ. Give me the grace of perseverance in doing Your will in all things. Do with me what You will. I repent of having offended You. Grant, O Lord, that I may love You always and never let me be separated from You.

O my God and my All, make me a saint!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What to Read After a Powerful Retreat

I worked a retreat last weekend. I will be working another retreat this weekend. It came to mind to ask some of my friends along with probing my own mind, a question:

What books would you suggest to someone come off a powerful retreat?

From Sarah Reinhard: Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

From Andrew Jones: He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Cizsek, S.J.

From Brandon Vogt: Anything by St. Josemaría Escrivá, Fr. Robert Barron, and Fr. Thomas Dubay

I searched through their works and picked out five:

Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of Faith by Fr. Robert Barron
Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay
Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay
The Way by St. Josemaría Escrivá
Christ is Passy By by St. Josemaría Escrivá

My own recommendations would be:

Listening for Truth by Deacon James Keating
Discernment of Spirits: The Ignatian Guide to Everyday Living by Fr. Timothy Gallagher
Poverty of Spirit by Johaness Baptist Metz
Practice of the Presence of God by Br. Lawrence of the Resurrection

Do you have any suggestions?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Boredom and Bag End

I have been bored over the past couple of days and, like most contemporary young adults, have attempted to relieve my boredom with, among the whole host of possible distractions, videos on Youtube. That is to say, I have watched the Hobbit trailer several times over. I can't wait for Peter Jackson to take us back to Middle Earth. However, while watching the video recently, I had one of those silly, humbling moments so necessary in life: I realized that all my complaining must fall back on my own head. As I watched Bilbo and Frodo waved to each other in the opening shot of the trailer, followed by the shots of Bilbo writing "There and Back Again" at his desk and smoking a pipe in front of Gandalf, I cried (whether out load or to myself, it makes no difference [for I can't really tell which]) “I want to go there!” And not just to be with a wizard, but to be with a friend. I want to smell the Gaffer’s roses and eat Hobbiton cheese, not just the cross swords and see magick. I want songs around my hearth and an unexpected party, and not just elves and dwarves. Fantasy is fine, but reality is so much finer. The trail is makes the adventure, whether that trail leads through the Pearl's marshes or over the Misty Mountains.
And then I realized what a greedy fool I was. My living room is made up just like Bag End (minus, of course, the rounded doors, windows and hallways)! The trim is bare wood with light beige walls. Our hearth is always warm this time of year, and all sorts of singing and dancing goes on. I hike almost everyday in the woods behind my house, ride to parks and shops, can see roses just outside my bedroom window while I writing tales of mine own. This summer I hiked, hunted, fell from waterfalls and fought my demons. This school year I’ve had many an unexpected party and late night adventure. This weekend I'll join many an old friend on a wonderful retreat. So why am I bored?
"You have to be happy in those quiet moments when you remember that you are alive; not in those noisy moments when you forget." This quote of Chesterton's entered my mind, and then I realized just what it was I was missing. I didn't need an adventure that would have me forget reality. I wanted an adventure that would remind me I am a living reality. We grow too used to escapades that are escapes, rather than adventures that are returns. I sat there fuming about the grass being on the other side because I didn't want to risk having to cut my own grass. Which is another way of saying I didn't want to risk my own ,Assk you I will: why is the contemporary person so unsatisfied with their over entertained, over indulged, first world, last place kinda life style. Why does our boredom destroy us instead of rejuvenating us? Why do the few blessed hours granted us for recreation soon lapse into desperation for entertainment?
Simple: we've forgetton the pure joy of being. Of being what? Of BEING.
You might respond (and probably should respond), "Oh, thank you Daniel. Your metaphysics just solves all my problems. Meanwhile, you JERK, maybe you haven't noticed, but I've got all sorts of things to worry about: a car, a house, a job, school, friends, lovers, haters, etc. I've got a life. So what if I want to escape to the land of the elves, or the wizards, or the vampire spouses, of Beyonce, Anime or the LSU tigers. Do not judge my hobbies!"
I don't judge. I really don't. They are all fine and good quality things, your hobbies are (except maybe the Tigers’ coaching). It is myself that I'm judging, that I'm making a public spectacle of. What need I of Rivendell when I've been to Kahdelea, Bag End when I live on Stratford Drive or the Dead Marshes when I have the home of Swamp People in my proverbial backyard? And yet I am bored with it! Why am I bored? Is there something wrong with me?
I always risk being far too intimate in these reflections, but I only do it because I sincerely believe that we all can relate. And what I would like to relate is this lesson (though I live it rather imperfectly myself): boredom is not a curse, but an invitation. Disappointment and disillusionment with our amusements must not be the final word. Rather than taking my word for it, though, here are some more of Chesterton's, echoing from 80 years ago;
"What we have to teach the young man of the future, is how to enjoy himself. Until he can enjoy himself, he will grow more and more tired of enjoying everything else. What we have to teach him is to amuse himself. At this moment he is more and more dependent upon anything which he thinks will amuse him. And, to judge by the expression of his face, it does not amuse him very much. When we consider what he receives, it is indeed a most magnificent wonder and wealth and concentration of amusement. He can travel in a racing-car almost as quick as a cannon-ball; and still have his car fitted up with wireless from all the ends of the earth. He can get Vienna and Moscow; he can hear Cairo and Warsaw; and if he cannot see England, through which he happens to be travelling, that is after all a small matter. In a century, no doubt, his car will travel like a comet, and his wireless will hear the noises in the moon. But all this does not help him when the car stops; and he has to stand stamping about in a line, with nothing to think about. All this does not help him even when the wireless stops and he has to sit still in a silent car with nothing to talk about. If you consider what are the things poured into him, what are the things he receives, then indeed they are colossal cataracts of things, cosmic Niagaras that have never before poured into any human being are pouring into him. But if you consider what comes out of him, as a result of all this absorption, the result we have to record is rather serious. In the vast majority of cases, nothing. Not even conversation, as it used to be. He does not conduct long arguments, as young men did when I was young. The first and startling effect of all this noise is silence."
Into that silence, let us pour our prayer, so that our silence yields not despair. Oh Great God, do your best. Oh Great God, give us rest.

Happy Priests!

A few weeks back, my bishop sent me and my brother priests in the diocese a copy of Msgr. Stephen Rossetti's book entitled Why Priests are Happy. Having benefited from reading two of his previous works, I was happy to have this newly-released book that looks at the state of my brothers in ministry. 

I found the book to be enjoyable, despite the fact that it was really a summary of a two large-scale studies of priestly life and ministry, which arrived at conclusions via charts and numerical analysis. I found it particularly interesting to see his findings on the connections between priestly happiness, time in prayer, various spiritual practices, understandings of obedience and celibacy, as well as other elements with regards to different generations of priests. 

All of these various factors come together to paint a beautiful picture of priesthood, one that show that we priests are ... actually happy! The correlations (not causations, as he clearly notes) between happiness and various beliefs and spiritual practices was also good food for reflection in my own vocation, as it would be for anyone. In the end, he simply notes that as a whole, priests are generally happy, and that the reason is... well, I'll leave that for you to find out.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Thoughts - Why Barnes and Noble Makes Me Sad

Unfortunately, there is much poor representation of the Catholic Church on shelves of people who like myself grew up with poor Catechesis. One such book might be The Pope's War by Matthew Fox. To boot, Barnes and Noble is selling the nook book version for $4. A cheap 'Catholic' book!

I know should expect this from such a corporation. I know I should expect this from secular media controllers. I know I should expect this from men who are angry at the Church and have an axe to grind. I still need to come out of the naïve mindset that if I treat someone with Christian love and desire to receive that back in turn, I will not necessarily receive it. Nope. That's not what's happening in this world.

I desire for people to know Truth and Matthew Fox comes 'revealing the truth' about the corruption of the papacy for
the last 25 years. To say there hasn't been corruption among successors of the apostles, among priests, deacons, religious, would be to lie. He doesn't target those who rightfully should be targeted for their sad representation of men and women called by God to serve the Church. No, he targets righteous men! Righteous men!

I feel in need of a psalm of lamentation.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Top Ten Books Read in 2011, #1

Finally, what everyone has been waiting for, the number 1 book read in 2011 is ...
Leisure The Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper
There are books. There are great books that you will always remember. And then, there are books that change the way you view the world. Josef Pieper's philosophic classic did that for me. You would have been a follower for this blog for over year to remember my postings on this book in late 2010 (there are too many to link). I finished the book in January of 2011, and it set the tone for my whole year.

Pieper's basic concept is that we misunderstand what leisure is. We think of leisure as vacation, time away from work, time doing things we want to do. Leisure isn't time. It isn't a suit. It's a way of living. It's a way of looking at the world. Simply put leisure is the reception of truth, good, and beauty. It is philosophic contemplation.
(Deacon Kyle your losing me)
I think I just lost myself. Sorry.
To be in leisure is not be bound by work and dominated by work, enslaved by work. Work is not what defines the human person (although his work is dignified). The human person, first and foremost, is created in the image and likeness of God. He is both body and soul. Leisure is reception of the divine in ordinary circumstances. It's celebrating at the beauty of a child running in joy at the return of her father from business trip. It's seeing and contemplating the revelation of the divine in the mundane activities of the day.

Work, if divinized, blinds one from seeing the divine in washing dishes or sitting smoking a pipe in the nice cool air on a fall day. Divinized work has one end, productivity. Productivity without the final end in mind, i.e. celebration in the full presence of the divine in heaven, destroys a proper understanding of the human person. He/she becomes a means to an end, when God says, love as I love, without condition, without the need for response, without ulterior motives, just cuz.

No matter your background. No matter your reading level. No matter how much you read. If you read any book in 2012, it should be this book. End of story. End of list. Can't wait to find out what good reads I will encounter this year.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Top Ten Books Read in 2011, #2

Number 2 is ...

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Again, this has been a year of firsts. I have have always been a fan of mystery fiction and was fully ashamed that my only familiarity with Agatha Christie was a high school drama club rendition of The Mouse Trap (which coincidentally was done very well and probably helped insight my love of mystery fiction). Yes, sad, again ... So when I became a member of Audible via my friends over at Catholic Underground who were offering a one month free subscription the first audiobook I bought was And Then There Were None.

I can see without a shadow of doubt having read about 5% of the full corpus of detective and mystery fiction that this is the best book of them all. It has fantastic characters that you immediately hate and learn to love. It has a twisting plotline with a simple ending that literally blows your mind. It is able to be a mystery story where the possible culprits are at the same time the detectives. It follows a nursery rhyme. I mean you can't get better writing in this genre. If you haven't read this, read it. This year. You can find at your local bookstore or e-book store. It is worth your time hands down.

GKC and the Largeness of the Faith

Yet another GKC read! 

This could be considered his commentary on John 6: 68; "To whom, Lord, shall we go." Specifically, he is defending to freedom of the faithful, that when they come to Christ, He enlarges their freedom rather than dismantling it. 

Nothing is more amusing to the convert, when his conversion has been complete for some time, than to hear the speculations about when or whether he will repent of the conversion; when he will be sick of it, how long he will stand it, at what stage of his external exasperation he will start up and say he can bear it no more. For all this is founded on that optical illusion about the outside and the inside which I have tried to sketch in this chapter. The outsiders, stand by and see, or think they see, the convert entering with bowed head a sort of small temple which they are convinced is fitted up inside like a prison, if not a torture-chamber. But all they really know about it is that he has passed through a door. They do not know that he has not gone into the inner darkness, but out into the broad daylight.  It is he who is, in the beautiful and beatific sense of the word, an outsider. He does not want to go into a larger room, because he does not know of any larger room to go into.  He knows of a large number of much smaller rooms, each of which is labelled as being very large; but he is quite sure he would be cramped in any of them. Each of them professes to be a complete cosmos or scheme of all things; but then so does the cosmos of the Clapham Sect or the Clapton Agapemone.  Each of them is supposed to be domed with the sky or painted inside with all the stars. But each of these cosmic systems or machines seems to him much smaller and even much simpler than the broad and balanced universe in which he lives.  One of them is labelled Agnostic; but he knows by experience that it has not really even the freedom of ignorance. It is a wheel that must always go round without a single jolt of miraculous interruption--a circle that must not be squared by any higher mathematics of mysticism; a machine that must be scoured as clean of all spirits as if it were the avowed machine of materialism. In living in a world with two orders, the supernatural and the natural, the convert feels he is living in a larger world and does not feel any temptation to crawl back into a smaller one. One of them is labelled Theosophical or Buddhistic; but he knows by experience that it is only the same sort of wearisome wheel used for spiritual things instead of material things.  Living in a world where he is free to do anything, even to go to the devil, he does not see why he should tie himself to the wheel of a mere destiny. One of them is labelled Humanitarian; but he knows that such humanitarians have really far less experience of humanity. He knows that they are thinking almost entirely of men as they are at this moment in modern cities, and have nothing like the huge human interest of what began by being preached to legionaries in Palestine and is still being preached to peasants in China.  So clear is this perception that I have sometimes put it to myself, as something between a melancholy meditation and a joke.  "Where should I go now, if I did leave the Catholic Church?"  I certainly would not go to any of those little social sects which only express one idea at a time, because that idea happens to be fashionable at the moment. The best I could hope for would be to wander away into the woods and become, not a Pantheist (for that is also a limitation and a bore) but rather a pagan, in the mood to cry out that some particular mountain peak or flowering fruit tree was sacred and a thing to be worshipped.  That at least would be beginning all over again; but it would bring me back to the same problem in the end. If it was reasonable to have a sacred tree it was not unreasonable to have a sacred crucifix; and if the god was to be found on one peak he may as reasonably be found under one spire. To find a new religion is sooner or later to have found one; and why should I have been discontented with the one I had found? Especially, as I said in the first words of this essay, when it is the one old religion which seems capable of remaining new.  I know very well that if I went upon that journey I should either despair or return; and that none of the trees would ever be a substitute for the real sacred tree. Paganism is better than pantheism, for paganism is free to imagine divinities, while pantheism is forced to pretend, in a priggish way, that all things are equally divine. But I should not imagine any divinity that was sufficiently divine. I seem to know that weary return through the woodlands; for I think in some symbolic fashion I have walked that road before. For as I have tried to confess here without excessive egotism, I think I am the sort of man who came to Christ from Pan and Dionysus and not from Luther or Laud; that the conversion I understand is that of the pagan and not the Puritan; and upon that antique conversion is founded the whole world that we know. It is a transformation far more vast and tremendous than anything that has been meant for many years past, at least in England and America, by a sectarian controversy or a doctrinal division.  On the height of that ancient empire and that international experience, humanity had a vision. It has not had another; but only quarrels about that one. Paganism was the largest thing in the world and Christianity was larger; and everything else has been comparatively small. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Hazards of Incense or How Not to be a Sick Christian

I love incense. It's one of the greatest parts of the Roman liturgy. The symbol of the cloud and smoke as the presence of God is tangible. It gives the liturgy mystery. It clouds the holy of holies like the type of heaven, the Temple, letting the whole congregation know God is present.

It is also a symbol of prayers rising to God. "Let our prayers rise like incense," a psalm says, "like an evening oblation." Such beauty, such majesty dwells in the scented smoke pregnant with such symbols.

Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve, my ideals of smoke where sent crashing to the ground. During the gospel, I was so surrounded by incense, sight became difficult. Tears streamed from my eyes. Nausea set it. I used every bit of control I had of my body to not interrupt the liturgy. All turned out okay from a liturgical standpoint. I however was rendered sick.

This is the thurible in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. I felt like the guy in red.
You see, dear reader, I'm allergic to every tree and grass pollen in the US, dust mites, mold spores, and, yes, smoke, even the kind with great symbolism. The heavenly cloud brought me close to earth. Over the last week my schedule didn't let up and neither did my sinuses. The build-up of sickness and weariness came to a head Friday. Saturday morning I woke up incapacitated. Three days I have been laid up finally "resting", for the first time, since ... well, I can't remember.

Instead of taking advantage of the infinite possibilities of redemptive suffering, I wasted my weekend away in half-rest. Never fully resting in the sense Pieper speaks of, I distracted myself from the pain and suffering through various media, film, football, video games. Not spending time in thought, prayer, preparation for blogs, or even for the two retreats I'm working the next two weekends.

Part of resting is contemplation and meditation. Escape is not rest because all you're doing is running away. Encountering Him who is rest, contemplating His mysteries eases the soul. When the animating principle of the body is at ease, the body itself is set at ease. We've all been witness to the sick person or dying person who contemplates. They seem to rest easy; they share their inner life with greater clarity.

So, dear reader, next time you're sick, contemplate, meditate, on the divine Passion, on the Sacred Heart, on the Immaculate Heart of Mary, don't escape to media, books, whatever, to keep your mind off the sickness. (I'm not saying don't read, but rather, don't read to the neglect of the great opportunity of meditation you have at that moment) Instead, turn and face Christ in the clouded mystery of your heart, because it is there that He dwells. It is there that we will meet Him. It is there the healing will commence.

Top Ten Books Read in 2011, #3

Kind and patient readers, I apologize the incompletion of this series. I intended to write three and two on Friday and number one on Saturday and an illness caught up with me.

Number 3 is ...

Tremendous Trifles by G.K. Chesterton
It's not often that I read a collection of essays. Being that this was my first year reading Chesterton (shame, Deacon Kyle, shame!), I figured I'd go with what had been recommended to me. This was recommended to me by one of our fellow writers on the blog (who has been overly busy to write). He told me he reads this over every year. Therefore, I had to read it. The essays were fantastic. Chesterton's wit shone through but more importantly, it provided me with a necessary outlook change. One can find the good, the true, and the beautiful in the ordinary circumstances of life, whether they be brown paper bags and white chalk, or travels to unknown towns, or taxi ride. Chesterton's intellect shines forth in his ability to see the underneath of the material happening. Things are much deeper than they seem.