Friday, November 24, 2006

Beauty, Catechesis and Conversion

In an address delivered to the directors and employees of the Vatican Museums, the Holy Father continues to lay out the importance of the sacred arts as a means of drawing people toward the faith, and as a tool for catechesis:

"The approach to Christian truth through artistic or socio-cultural expressions, has a greater chance of appealing to the intelligence and sensitivity of people who do not belong to the Catholic Church, and who may sometimes nourish feelings of prejudice or indifference towards her. Visitors to the Vatican Museums, by dwelling in this sanctuary of art and faith, have the opportunity to 'immerse' themselves in a concentrated atmosphere of 'theology by images'." (Source: VIS-Press releases)

Comments such as these continue to highlight the importance of the liturgy being ceremonious, tasteful and beautiful, as well as the sacred arts that surround the liturgy and amplify the sacred realities.

Beauty often has a greater and broader evangelical reach than the most erudite treatise, and as well is far more likely to stir the soul. This is why the liturgy and the liturgical arts should be topmost in our concern and why their importance should not be written off as the mere concern of aesthetes.

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