the right way up

by Oak Hill Studio

As I am able, I continue my daily walks listening to Chesterton’s Orthodoxy.  Today marked the end of the book, but I will likely continue to listen to several of the segments over again.  I know there will be much to glean from what I did not pick up on the first go around.  I found this to be true with Heretics.  My favorite chapter is The Paradoxes of Christianity.  There is much, much to chew on there.  But today, this is what stood out to me in the final words of this great work.

The mass of men have been forced to be gay about the little things, but sad about the big ones.  Nevertheless (I offer my last dogma defiantly) it is not native to man to be so.  Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial.  Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.  Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labour by which all things live.


Christianity satisfies suddenly and perfectly man’s ancestral instinct for being the right way up; satisfies it supremely in this; that by its creed joy becomes something gigantic and sadness something special and small.