Culture: July 2012 Archives

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Difficulty with beauty

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I met a man this afternoon doing some business with us on marketing and the question of beauty came to the fore. He remarked on how we are among the few clients he has who have concern for beauty, simple sophistication, not foppishness. I recalled for him that beauty is a theological datum; it is such a principled piece of Catholicism that it is shameful of what passes for beauty.

Several years ago I came across a couple of lines of Cardinal Ratzinger's that speaks of beauty as really, really important. He said, "A theologian who does not love art, poetry, music and nature can be dangerous. Blindness and deafness toward the beautiful are not incidental; they necessarily are reflected in his theology." In other words, don't trust a theologian who has no regard for beauty.

Then on FB I noted this quote and image on beauty.

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It is one of the notable sadnesses of our time that so many are incapable of fascination with the deeper levels of human beauty, especially those rooted in the spirit, levels that far transcend physical attractiveness.  Before lofty human traits some people are more or less apathetic, listless, unmoved, even hardened. And many seem to die as they live. 

Thomas Dubay. S.M., The Evidential Power of Beauty, p.64-65.

Catholic TV will premiere "The Sea Within" Friday, July 27 at 9:30pm and Saturday, July 28 at 1pm. "The Sea Within" explores the spirituality of surfing as shared by Dr. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College. 

The project is based on his three books on the subject: I Surf Therefore I Am, If Einstein Had Been a Surfer, and The Sea Within.  It was produced by Kindly Light, the media division of the Dominican Fathers Province of Saint Joseph. Donations to Kindly Light are tax-deductible and your gift is one way to actively participate in our media projects for the new evangelization. 

Send a DVD to someone you know by ordering it here. 

"The main task for us all is that of a new evangelization aimed at helping younger generations to rediscover the true face of God, who is Love." -Pope Benedict XVI.

How theologians might reflect on communication and information technologies and the new culture that they create formed the basis of a symposium sponsored by the Pontifical Council on Social Communication, held at the Jesuit-sponsored Santa Clara University in California (USA) in late June. The PCCS, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Communications and the University's Communication Department, convened a gathering of 25 theologians to begin a process of sustained theological reflection. The group focused on three general areas: ecclesiology, approaches from historical theology, and a theological understanding of digital culture, in each area considering the challenges that contemporary communication poses to the church's theological understanding.

Communication, whether the mass media or the Internet, has changed the environment in which people live, raising questions about church structure, personal identity, parish life, religious self-understanding, and religious formation and participation. For example, people take their identity from popular culture more than from the Church's catechetics or even from the Gospel. The same mass media also promote a vertical model of the Church in which the local community, the parish, and the diocese disappear, so that only "the Catholic Church" headed by the Pope matters. Each of these poses a serious ecclesiological challenge, as each redefines the nature of the Church.

To read the whole article, see the text here.

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Sao Paolo has Christ overlooking the city, New Haven-ers have a statue keeping the citizens remembering the service of others in 19th century wars. 

This picture is of a memorial statue overlooking the City of New Haven which is a familiar sight for residents and those who know where to look in the skyline. 

After dinner this evening my parents and I drove up to see the 19th century memorial for those who died serving our country in the armed services.

Let's pray for those lost their lives in war.

Happy Independence Day!

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With the Church we pray, 

God of justice, Father of truth, who guide creation in wisdom and goodness to fulfillment in Christ your Son, open our hearts to the truth of his Gospel, that your peace may rule in our hearts and your justice guide our lives.

And for the intention of religious liberty which we've been praying for the last 14 days, 

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator, through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society. We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith. Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome -- for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us -- this great land will always be "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Culture category from July 2012.

Culture: June 2012 is the previous archive.

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