[From “Common Sense Apostle & Cigar Smoking Mystic: CHESTERTON'S DEFENSE OF THE FAITH AND THE FAMILY”]
When Chesterton said, “There is only one subject,” he was of course referring to that subject that today’s wordsmiths go out of their way to avoid: God. Avoiding God as a subject leaves one with very little else to talk about. In fact, with nothing else to talk about. Which is why it all seems so insipid. Because it is.
But pursuing God rather than avoiding God opens up the whole creation and sheds light on every other subject, every other care, every other concern under the sun.
However, the danger of pursuing God is where it leads. To God—and nothing else. All those other concerns which seemed so important, so momentous, simply drop out of sight.
Thus, the avoidance of God leaves us with nothing else to talk about. The pursuit of God leaves us…with nothing else to talk about.
But the former is vanity; the latter is mysticism.
Chesterton says that the mystic “passes through the moment when…there is nothing but God.” That is not a conclusion that one can reach merely by reading books, even books about the saints. Chesterton was able to write with authority about profound ideas, to write with an insider’s understanding of mysticism because he clearly passed through that moment when there was nothing but God.