You cannot judge a soul purely by its actions.
There are many methods of showing devotion to God.
St. Josemaria Escriva woke punctually and did a morning offering prayer. It was one of his methods of showing devotion to God.
Chesterton did not do this. Chesterton had other ways of expressing his devotion to God.
If you were to leave some chocolate bars on a table, and leave a sign nearby, so that everyone would know that they were free for the taking, St. Escriva would probably not partake, as a personal mortification and as a sign of his devotion to God. Chesterton, on the other hand, would probably take one. He would enjoy it thoroughly, and be very grateful at how perfectly chocolatey it was. His gratitude, to the makers of the chocolate and to the one who designed the wrapper and the floral-edged plate, along with his gratitude to you and to the God in heaven who created the cocoa bean, the sugar cane and tastebuds as well, would be his expression of devotion to God. He might have his bar with a glass of cold milk.
I consider the first man to be a heroic saint who emphasizes the beauty of duty in our lives, and shows how it can be transformed into something very pleasing to God.
I consider the second man to be a heroic saint who emphasizes the beauty of gratitude in our lives, and shows how it can be transformed into something very pleasing to God.
And as for you, do you judge the second man as a glutton?
Woe to you then, for such an error.
You see, God loves the night owl just as much as he loves the morning dove.
You limit God when you imagine otherwise.
Some writers speak with delicate and lofty words. They make your imagination soar across lilac-coloured skies.
Some writers are down in the trenches. They roar and storm and sometimes they blow up the entire place, or try to.
Some writers, like Chesterton, could do both.
Are you so entirely sure that you are right, when you say the first writer is inspired and the second is not? Do you consider yourself an expert on all the voices and expressions of God?
Does God know only Bach and baroque?
Or does he rock?
Oh, how you underestimate God, you lavender soap folks! I rage against you!
How you confine him! You think you are on his side, but you do him a grave injustice, in imagining him and speaking of him like a grim and prim ticket-giving small-minded sergeant, who never knows how to laugh or celebrate or storm or have a good time.
The thing is, Chesterton blazes a trail.
It just goes in a direction that you didn’t expect.
It goes in a direction that you don’t understand.
It goes in the direction pointed out by the night owl.
The morning dove says “Coo”
That’s all well and good.
But the night owl says something too.
The night owl says
Ah yes, do you hear?
I hear him.
The night owl says
“Who is like God?”