Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Because there's enough ugly in the world . . .

. . . we need to cherish -- and cling to -- the beauty all the more.

Some people hear God in dour denunciations from culture warriors who belong more to the realm of politics than to the realm of the sacred. Me, I'm more likely to hear the quiet voice of the Almighty when I put the needle to the groove of an Otis Redding record.

Or in what Jake Shimabukuro does with a ukulele.

SOME MIGHT dismiss this as the squishy rhetoric of someone who is "spiritual, not religious." That is not true. I know full well that God requires we accept a lot of "hard sayings."

But I also know that truth is beauty, and beauty is among the highest expressions of truth. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says as much:
Created "in the image of God," man also expresses the truth of his relationship with God the Creator by the beauty of his artistic works. Indeed, art is a distinctively human form of expression; beyond the search for the necessities of life which is common to all living creatures, art is a freely given superabundance of the human being's inner riches. Arising from talent given by the Creator and from man's own effort, art is a form of practical wisdom, uniting knowledge and skill, to give form to the truth of reality in a language accessible to sight or hearing. To the extent that it is inspired by truth and love of beings, art bears a certain likeness to God's activity in what he has created. Like any other human activity, art is not an absolute end in itself, but is ordered to and ennobled by the ultimate end of man.
NEVER TRUST any "religious" person who discounts this. And never trust any Christian who treats music -- or any artistic pursuit -- as a mere utilitarian gimmick for "making converts."

No comments: