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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Praying for a Catholic Renaissance

I want to save creativity in art, music, architecture and other of the fine arts, including writing, from the hands of the New Agers and the Narcissists, as well as the Politicos, who only use art for propaganda.

I think we can dismiss "political art" very quickly, as usually any creative energies which are harnessed to an ideology, such as Marxism or anarchy, remains self-gratifying and ultimately dated.

The universal is lacking in propaganda in or through art.

New Age followers, especially on the Internet, seem to have over any discussion on creative energies by placing these in the context of yoga (condemned by the Catholic Church), vague humors or energies to be found within the body, or extra-influential energies, such as crystals, water, certain plants, and even certain animals. One thinks of the feng-shui craze of some New Agers, which has fallen into the world of design-personal and domestic. Animals and points of the compass serve to control design.
That the Catholic Church in these times has reneged on Her duty to perserve the arts for God and Beauty is painfully obvious in wreckovations of churches, monasteries and convents, which still occur today, in 2012. Some of these wreckovations are politically, ideologically motivated by "Catholics" who either think like Protestants or Marxists. Still, like a worn-out mantra, people decry the use of beauty in church architecture, vestments, church altar ware, etc. forgetting that it is the Triune God Whom we worship and that our churches house the Body of Christ at all times.

The Narcissists are the hardest to convince that art is more than a reaction as to how they feel on Monday evening when they see a bird and want to express their emotions on a piece of board by splodging mud and some acrylics on the wood. "This is me, today, now" forms the cry of the Narcissistic Artist, who has forgotten the purpose of art in his or her individualistic, narrow, rationalistic world of expression. Who cares?

One can hardly argue that art has rules or is part of a larger discipline involving the mind and the soul, and not merely the emotions.

I pray for Catholic artists of all types to re-claim the spiritual inheritance of the Incarnation. Since God became Man and is now in Heaven Body and Soul, we can celebrate Beauty, the Beauty of God and Man, through grace.

I hope it is not too late to have a real Renaissance of Art.

And, as I have written here before, Catholic Art does mean a genre of Christian movies, songs, plays, paintings. The entire industry of Protestant "art" in America passes off pedestrian works as "art", simply because for years the mediocre seems, to some people, better than nothing. We need Catholic artists and musicians, architects and playwright, writing, composing , painting from a Catholic world view. Is it too late to hope for such?

All shown here are works of David Jones, my favorite Catholic artist and writer. May his work inspire some greats to become greater as Catholics, with the Catholic view and optimism of life and grace.