Art & Christianity: June 2011 Archives
The religious and art worlds are abuzz with the latest find: an early 6th century image of the Apostle Paul in Naples. The discovery happened in the Catacombs of San Gennaro.
Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi said "The image of Saint Paul has an intense expression, philosophical and its discovery enriches our image of one of the principal apostles."
The story of the new image is found in the culture section of L'Osservatore Romano.
Watch the video story from Rome Reports.
Paul Haring, a photojournalist who works for Catholic News Service in Rome talks about his vocation in following Pope Benedict to record for us "the moment" with the Vicar of Christ. As Paul notes, it is a singular act of Providence to be see life through an new lens, especially when pointing that lens at the Supreme Pontiff.
If you love photojournalism as I do, you will want to watch this brief video story on working near Benedict XVI narrated by Paul Haring. Both the story and photography are helpful in giving structure to what is an unusual experienced.
Our Lord ascended to Heaven so that the Holy Spirit might come at Pentecost and fill the Church with His truth. The greatest art expresses that truth and is far superior to vain "self-expression." John Keats said "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," but T.S. Eliot rightly thought that the expression was meaningless sentimentality. The craftsman ignorant of the Creator becomes a vain aesthete expressing nothing more than the ego. While truth is beautiful, beauty is not truth itself but expresses that truth. In the classical tradition, beauty consists in proportion, integrity and clarity: it is harmonious, suited to its purpose, and intelligible. This is sublimely seen in Christ Himself, Who incarnated this beauty as the Way (guiding to a harmony of virtue) and the Truth (revealing God) and the Life (enlightening with creative love). St. Macarius, an Egyptian monk of the fourth century said, "The soul which has been fully illumined by the unspeakable beauty of the glory shining on the countenance of Christ overflows with the Holy Spirit . . . it is all eye, all light, all countenance."
Art is not merely an option for the Christian. Thus, the wisdom of Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice: "The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils . . ." The most sublime art is the Eucharist, in which we "take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims . . ." (Vatican II, SC 8).
Father George Rutler
Pastor, Church of Our Saviour, NYC
homily excerpt from a recent Mass with Artists