Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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The Beauty of Faith

January 21st, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

Very impressive art deco stained glass in the chapel of Borgerstein (Sint-Jozefsseminarie), Sint-Katelijne-Waver near Mechelen, Belgium : art deco design Louis Crespin ; artist Florent Colpaert*

“The diminishing place and role of Christian art in liturgy, catechesis, and evangelization has occurred precisely at the moment when popular culture, in content and medium, has become increasingly sensory and visual. Everyday life is infused with images, words, and sounds aimed at engaging mind, will, senses, and emotions; however, the daily or weekly experience of liturgy, catechesis, faith formation, and spirituality is plain, appealing primarily only to the intellect or emotions – and often, starkly bereft of beauty. While the surrounding culture appeals more and more to visual and sensory experiences, less and less value is placed on visual, sensory, and artistic expressions of faith within the Christian community…

Can the Church dispense with beauty in liturgy, catechesis, and evangelization as it seeks to engage people profoundly shaped by the dominant information and media culture? To effectively proclaim the Gospel message to generations deeply formed by a sensory culture, can the Church afford to overlook sacred and religious art as tools of the New Evangelization?”

The Beauty of Faith: Using Christian Art to Spread the Good News by Jem Sullivan, (Huntington, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 2009) 26, 27

*Picture source: <http://www.flickr.com/photos/sint-katelijne-waver/>

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