Monday, 28 April 2014

Sky Fairy Dust

Chesterton in Orthodoxy talks about the child's delight in tinsel and glitter and how this natural delight carries over to Catholicism and, in particular, to its liturgy and art. (Well, I think he does. But I've had a quick look and can't find the passage I remembered. Perhaps this is one of the many things people ought to have written.)

Frankly, most of the weekend was rather a drag: too many things done which I'd rather not have done; too many things done badly. And I've compounded the gloomy feeling which has remained on Monday morning by having a quick look at twitter and staring into that particular abyss which the World's view of serious Catholicism and its defenders. But despite all that, part of me -a rather unreasonably large part of me- feels as cheerful as possible after Sunday's canonizations.

I'm not going to try to rationalize it. It's just a sheer human delight in seeing lots of people in a good mood celebrating good things. There's something magical in seeing around a million people gathered to celebrate a uniquely Catholic occasion.

At this level, all the New Atheist sneers about 'sky fairies' have a point. Being a Catholic at times is like living in a fairy tale. Except, it's a fairy tale where a billion people live and worship in a two thousand year old institution, which in the twenty first century can attract one million people to a square framed by the glories of Renaissance architecture. (And has dancing Polish nuns. I didn't see any, but I'm sure it would have had dancing Polish nuns.) It's the paradox of a real fairy tale.

So, Nay Sayers of every kidney,  away with you for at least one day! It's a feeling of joy for which I claim absolutely no evidential value. But it's the inheritance of every Catholic in this season of Easter and I'm going to enjoy it.

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