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The Twitch Upon the Thread

October 12, 2009

A beautiful quote/metaphor/I don’t even know that might give you some hope today. I know a couple of you out there are worried about somebody you love…

G.K. Chesterton put the following metaphor in the mouth of his character Fr. Brown: “I caught him, with an unseen hook and an invisible line which is long enough to let him wander to the ends of the world, and still to bring him back with a twitch upon the thread.” This image formed the basis for Evelyn Waugh’s novel, Brideshead Revisited, in which a “dysfunctional” aristocratic family is finally redeemed by the faith they were raised with, which “took hold” in spite of everything. Waugh explaines that by the grace of baptism, the Catholic Church “has the unique power of keeping remote control over human souls which have once been part of her. G.K. Chesterton has compared this to the fisherman’s line, which allows the fish the illusion of free play in the water and yet has him by the hook; in his own time the fisherman by a ‘twitch upon the thread’ draws the fish to land.”

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