Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Beauty and the Beast


“There is the great lesson of Beauty and the Beast; that a thing must be loved before it is loveable.”  
                                                                                           Gilbert Keith Chesterton


    I have never attempted to write anything about anything of Chesterton’s before; it is a daunting task. But I hope, in a few paragraphs, to convey the meaning of this opening quote about Beauty and the Beast.

  We generally feel an affection for what is beautiful. It is only to be expected that we are drawn to all the agreeable things we see. But in the case of Beauty and the Beast, the poor Beast was quite the opposite of agreeable. He was, by all accounts, hideous. When Beauty came to live at his castle, she was repulsed by him. The thought of sitting to dine with him made her quite ill. But, being unwilling to offend, she stuck it out, and discovered that the Beast was actually not so bad. He could converse wittily, was well read; in fact, the only thing he was deficient in was good looks. But when he asked Beauty to marry him, she was appalled, and so turned him down. She could not bear to have an unbeautiful husband.

  Later in the story, however, when Beauty rushes back from her holiday with her sisters and finds the Beast dying, she suddenly realises something--she loves Beast. She cannot bear to think of losing him, and, in a flood of tears, and holding the Beast close, she tells him so. In that instant, as she tells him how much she loves him, the Beast changes into a wonderfully handsome prince. He is now quite obviously loveable, and of course the two get married, live happily ever after, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. How wonderfully simple it all is in fairy tales!

    We see that Beauty had to love the Beast before he appeared as loveable. This explains the Chesterton quote in the opening of this essay, that something must be loved before it is loveable. When one meets somebody new, they are not perfect by any means. But with closer and deeper knowledge and acquaintance with the person, we gradually see that these minor faults do, in fact, make up a beautiful kind of perfection in and of themselves, in much the same way that the peaceful silence of the meadows is full of small noises which make up one great and all-encompassing quietness.

    Hopefully this has helped some of you to understand this quote of one of the greatest writers of our age, without beating about the bush too much. The excerpt was taken from Ethics of Elfland, a chapter in Chesterton’s famous work Orthodoxy. I have only read the one chapter, but finding it to be all about fairy tales and such, I found it most engaging, and look forward to reading some more of the whole book in the near future.
Maura Tuffy

Rainbows Everywhere


“He never chooses an opinion, he just hears whatever happens to be in style.”
                                                                                                         ---Leo Tolstoy

     It seems that rainbows and pride quotes are in style after the recent Supreme Court decision on same-sex “marriage”. I've seen much rejoicing on many different social media pages such as Instagram, Facebook, and such. Everyone has been changing their profile picture to a rainbow theme, and posting quotes like “Love is love no matter who you love” and “#pride” and all that.

  Well, as a traditional Catholic and a supporter of real marriage, I am absolutely sick of having rainbow flags and pride slogans shoved down my throat every day. I went into the city last Thursday with some friends, and a certain bank (I forget which, but it wasn't Chase, although Chase Bank is a big advocate also) had rainbow flags filling the windows. I wonder how many sponsors that bank gained as a result. It makes no sense that so-called diversity is not diverse in its choices of what to be diverse about. It’s okay to believe in gay marriage, to stand up for your “rights” on that matter, but if you make any kind of public protest about traditional marriage, you will literally be shot down where you stand. What’s “diverse” about that? There is no diversity, only a sick kind of worldly liberalism which opens its grasping arms to nothing that is right and to everything that is perverted.

  It's not that the Church hates anybody and everybody who is homosexual; we've all heard the old saying, love the sinner and hate the sin. But oftentimes the sin is such a part of the sinner that it's difficult to separate the two and that's where things get a bit tricky. Sometimes, Catholics are misrepresented as bigoted, narrow-minded despisers of everybody who does not conform to their old-fashioned sense of morality. And then there is the other extreme, which is being propagated by today's charismatic Masses, unhabited nuns, lax morality, and, I am sad to say, even some of our priests; that Catholics are liberal, and all-welcoming, opening our church doors wide to envelope all kinds, divorced and remarried, active gays, unshriven and unrepentant, etc. It can be hard to know what to believe in any more these days.

  Real marriage is between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or woman and a woman. I think that soon there will be more gay married couples than married straight ones. Why do homosexuals seem to be bigger advocates of marriage than normal couples? Same-sex marriage is unnatural and wrong. It’s such a shame that marriage is being attacked in this fashion.

   The abomination of gay marriage is ruining the United States. All we can do is pray and hope that this situation will not take over everything.

Maura Tuffy