…from a myriad gems in Dale Ahlquist's G.K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense.
"The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age." (The Catholic Church and Conversion, CW 3:110)
"If a man saw the world upside down, with all the trees and towers hanging downwards as in a pool, one effect would be to emphasize the idea of dependence…. He would be thankful to God for not dropping the whole cosmos like a vast crystal to be shattered into falling stars. … It was in a wholly happy and enthusiastic sense that St. Francis [of Assisi] said, 'Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall enjoy everything.' It was by this deliberate starting from zero … that he did come to enjoy even earthly things as few people have enjoyed them. …
Rosetti makes the remark … that the worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank. The converse of this proposition [i.e., that when a man has someone to thank, he really is thankful] is also true…. All goods look better when they look like gifts….
"It may seem a paradox to say that a man may be transported with joy to discover that he is in debt. … It is the highest and holiest of the paradoxes that the man who really knows he cannot pay his debt will be for ever paying it. … He will be always throwing things away into a bottomless pit of unfathomable thanks. …
"[The] depths [of thanks] are a bottomless abyss. [St. Francis] knew that the praise of God stands on its strongest grounds when it stands on nothing." (St. Francis of Assisi, CW 2:70–77, 132)
"[St. Francis] did not call nature his mother; he called a particular donkey his brother or a particular sparrow his sister…. That is where his mysticism is close to the common sense of the child. A child has no difficulty about understanding that God made the dog and the cat; though he is well aware that the making of dogs and cats out of nothing is a mysterious process…. But no child would understand what you mean if you mixed up the dog and the cat and everything else into one monster with a myriad legs and called it nature." (St. Francis of Assisi, CW 2:70–77, 82)
"Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a God who knew the way out of the grave." (The Everlasting Man, CW 2: 382)
"The aim of human polity is human happiness…. There is no obligation on us to be richer, or busier, or more efficient, or more productive, or more progressive, or in any way worldlier or wealthier, if it does not make us happier." (The Outline of Sanity, CW 1:145)
"They [big government and big business] are willing to give him [the common citizen] a vote, because they have long discovered that it need not give him any power. They are not willing to give him a house, or a wife, or a child, or a dog, or a cow, or a piece of land, because these things really do give him power." (The Outline of Sanity, 1:208–9)
"There is no dispute about the purpose of Nature in creating such an attraction [as exists between men and women and produces children]. It would be more intelligent to call it the purpose of God; for Nature can have no purpose unless God is behind it. To talk of the purpose of Nature is to make a vain attempt to avoid being anthropomorphic, merely by being feminist. It is believing in a goddess because you are too sceptical to believe in a god." (The Outline of Sanity, 1:253)