the primeval duty of praise

On what were its foundations set, or who laid its cornerstone, while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Who enclosed the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,… ( Job 38:7)

What is Chesterton telling us this Advent is the most revolutionary of thoughts? Leaving the battle for this world for a moment, forgetting our focus on the earthly concerns and pleasures and turning our whole-hearted attention to the greatest battleground there is – the human heart – and conquering it by learning to praise God simply for who He is and what he has done in the act of Creation itself. If we, like the angels, received nothing personal from it, but were bystanders looking on with hearts swelling, learn to sing together in what Chesterton calls “the primeval duty of Praise” we will know then that we are at last what God meant for us to be – Sons of God.

“Creation was the greatest of all Revolutions. It was for that, as the ancient poet said, that the morning stars sang together; and the most modern poets, like the medieval poets, may descend very far from that height of realization and stray and stumble and seem distraught; but we shall know them for the Sons of God, when they are still shouting for joy. This is something much more mystical and absolute than any modern thing that is called optimism; for it is only rarely that we realize, like a vision of the heavens filled with a chorus of giants, the primeval duty of Praise.” – G.K. Chesterton, The Greatness of Chaucer, Chaucer, 1932

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