We’ve got a great haul for you today. Here’s some pages that we thought were particularly interesting:
The Catholic Church desperately needs artists. (Angelusnews.com)
This article talks about several groups of Catholic artists and what their currently doing in their communities to create a resurgence of all forms of Catholic art: It’s no secret that the Michaelangelos of the Church seem to be few and far between in this age, where some modern churches more closely resemble spaceships than houses of God, church bulletin design seems to be stuck in the 1980s, and some church choirs consist of two people who’ve never taken a music lesson.
However, a slow but sure movement towards rediscovering the importance of art and beauty seems to be afoot in the Catholic Church. Here’s how three different groups are working to put Pope John Paul II’s call for artists into action.
“Don’t settle for mediocrity,” he said. “There is such a low bar for art in the Christian world that you can get away with being mediocre.” “The world needs excellence to reach the 90 percent of people that think that Catholicism is totally archaic and meaningless, those are the people your art is supposed to reach.”
Our very own Zoe Romanowsky interviews best selling gardening author and Benedictine oblate Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB, on being an oblate/hermit, how that mixes with gardening and how to approach disappointment:
It’s best to disregard the word “lay”—that can make it confusing. My personal calling as a Benedictine oblate is to be a lay hermit—somewhat of an anchoress, though I use that term loosely. I live a life of celibacy, but that is not the commitment of all oblates—most are married and have children. To be a Benedictine oblate is to be like a monk or nun in the world. We are specifically tied to a monastery and called to follow the charism of that monastery. Mine is service to the poor, and because of the number of prisons here in Michigan, we serve people coming out of the prison system. The charism of the Benedictine oblates is to find God in the ordinariness of life—St. Benedict is the patron of the ordinary—and to work and pray and offer everything to the Lord. The best way to describe it is a particular practice I have as a lay hermit: I keep a “Christ” chair next to my bed, and I have another one in my oratory. Mentally, I place our Lord there so he’s always present with me.
I Didn’t Like The Homeless Guy That Stopped Me Yesterday (Catholicconspiracy.com)
Tom Zampino writes to remind us that we, as Catholics, are called to love our neighbors regardless of presumptions or awkwardness. The golden rule is the standard by which we are measured and, as with most of our practices, it is not always the easiest path to follow. Unconditional love for all is the goal:
No, we have a much more difficult one:You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these – Mark 12:31
So what does that mean in practice?
Well, for one thing, love is a verb not just an emotion or a feeling.
It’s active, not passive. It’s about making conscious, charitable choices, not ones by default.
It’s looking for the good in someone, even when – on the surface at least – there is nothing at all lovable about them. Sometimes we have to look deep down inside others to find that good.