“We have all read in scientific books, and, indeed, in all romances, the story of the man who has forgotten his name. This man walks about the streets and can see and appreciate everything; only he cannot remember who he is. Well, every man is that man in the story. Every man has forgotten who he is. One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self more distant than any star. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God; but thou shalt not know thyself. We are all under the same mental calamity; we have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are. All that we call common sense and rationality and practicality and positivism only means that for certain dead levels of our life we forget that we have forgotten. All that we call spirit and art and ecstacy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget.”
– G.K Chesterton, Orthodoxy, The Ethics of Elfland
I like to collect quotes which I find interesting (as in case, GKC quote above). Two days ago, from the mouth of an elfin looking three year old, I heard the following very collectable statement:
“I love all of the colors of the rainbow. I love all of the colors of the rainbow.”
The child made this statement out of the blue. I did not solicit it. We were not speaking about rainbows or colors. His certainty about how much he liked all of the colors of a rainbow was a glimpse of that certainty children have regarding many things. The child’s words made me think of a glorious rainbow and the array of colors it contains. His contemplation on the colors of the rainbow caused me to take a step back from the work I was doing, and to think about beautiful things; and as Chesterton stated (above), caused me to remember for one awful instant that I had forgotten (paraphrase GKC).
Needless to say, upon arriving home, the quote made its way into my quote-collection. It is completely different in topic from the quote which proceeds it which was spoken several weeks earlier by a mother of five: “If we do not believe in the forgiveness of sin, our religion is meaningless.” I liked that statement when the young mother spoke it, for she believes in the forgiveness of sin won by Christ on the Cross and all that the victory of the Cross entails. Her certainty in the basic principles of Christianity were startling and caused one to think about First Things.
It is enjoyable to listen to the words of those around us, to hear their beliefs, and to see the world through their eyes; and to remember what we once knew (GKC).
So, for today, it is good to remember that the colors of a rainbow are beautiful.
All of them!
May you have a good day.
~Lent preparation: link to a seventeen minute talk on how to prepare for Lent (according to one’s state in life) from Timothy Flanders at The Meaning of Catholic, here