Symbols Everywhere

Michael Glover’s piece reminded me of Chesterton’s parable of a man’s sudden awareness of the crosses all around him:

Not a light shifted, not a leaf stirred, but he saw as if by a sudden change in the eyesight that this paling was an army of innumerable crosses linked together over hill and dale. And he whirled up his heavy stick and went at it as if at an army. Mile after mile along his homeward path he broke it down and tore it up. For he hated the cross and every paling is a wall of crosses. When he returned to his house he was a literal madman … He broke his furniture because it was made of crosses. He burnt his house because it was made of crosses. He was found in the river.

It’s too glib to have a Bible verse to hand, such as: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) My point is that the believer – as well as the unbeliever! – can have that sudden change in the eyesight and see what is to be seen.

So St Francis sang his Canticle of Creation, seeing God in all things:

Be praised, my Lord, for all your creation
and especially for our Brother Sun,
who brings us the day and the light;
he is strong and shines magnificently.

GK Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross, can be found at

The whole Canticle of Creation can be found in many places, including: Catholic On Line:



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