The great -- and I don't apply that word to people too often -- G. K. Chesterton died 78 years ago on this date in 1936. A convert to Catholicism, Chesterton can be counted among the most influential writers of his time. He was also a brilliant apologist for orthodox Christianity, a man who never tired of sharing the joy he experienced in being a child of God. A remarkably prolific writer, he authored dozens of books, both fiction and non-fiction, some truly wonderful poetry, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of articles on almost every subject imaginable. Everything and everybody interested Chesterton. His friends ran the gamut of political and religious belief, which provided him with many opportunities to exercise the art of argument. But with Chesterton arguments were always an enjoyable experience, a chance to attack ideas but never the people who held them. An argument with Chesterton never turned into a quarrel.
I began reading Chesterton while still in my teens, after coming across some of his books in our home library (Thanks, Dad.), and I'm still reading him today, fifty years later. If you're not familiar with G. K. Chesterton, or if you've never read him, I suggest you take advantage of the recent resurgence of interest in him and his work. Indeed, for some time now Ignatius Press has been publishing his collected works, a project that will result in upwards of forty large volumes. This same press also publishes many of his more popular books in separate editions. Here's a link based on a search on their website: Chesterton on Ignatius Press. If you'd like a starting point, read Orthodoxy, or The Everlasting Man, or even some of his many Father Brown mysteries. I also suggest reading his insightful biographies of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi.
Through his writings Gilbert Keith Chesterton has made my life a lot brighter and certainly more interesting than it would have been without him. Oh, yes, lest I forget...Last year his cause for sainthood was opened when Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton, England, gave the go-ahead to begin the process. You can read about it here and here.
God bless GKC.