Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 14 1936

For you to remember today. The liturgical calendar of 2009 coincides with that of 1936. (Bear in mind that the feast of Corpus Christi was transferred to Sunday for America; it is NOT that way in Roma. Today IS the Sunday in the Octave.)

--Dr. Thursday

The summer was cold and bleak and the tour was all too short. Home again GKC's mind seemed not to grip as well as usual and he began to fall asleep during his long hours of work. The doctor was called and thought very seriously of the state of his heart - that heart which many years ago another doctor had called too small for his enormous frame. The thought of a Chesterton whose heart was too small presents a paradox in his own best manner. ... Soon after this he fell into a sort of reverie from which awaking he said:

"The issue is now quite clear. It is between light and darkness and every one must choose his side."

Frances and he had both thought his recovery in 1916 was a miracle. "I did not dare," said Frances, "to pray for another miracle."

Monsignor Smith anointed him and then Father Vincent arrived in response to a message from Frances which he thought meant she wanted him to see Gilbert for the last time. Taken to the sick room he sang over the dying man the Salve Regina. This hymn to Our Lady is sung in the Dominican Order over every dying friar and it was surely fitting for the biographer of St. Thomas and the ardent suppliant of Our Lady:

"Salve Regina, mater misericordiae, vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve.... Et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui nobis post hoc exsilium ostende...."

Gilbert's pen lay on the table beside his bed and Father Vincent picked it up and kissed it.

It was June 14, 1936, the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi, the same Feast as his reception into the Church fourteen years earlier. The Introit for that day's Mass was printed on his Memorial card, so that, as Father Ignatius Rice noted with a smile, even his Memorial card had a joke about his size:
The Lord became my protector and he brought me forth into a large place. He saved me because he was well pleased with me. I will love Thee O Lord my strength. The Lord is my firmament and my refuge and my deliverer. [Ps 17:19-20; 2-3]

[Ward, Gilbert Keith Chesterton 650-651, emphasis added]


At 19 June, 2009 16:33, Blogger Sheila said...


Dare I say, Santo Subito?


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