The wages of sin is death.
God is not absent from this world, and His hand is not stayed.
Herbert intended the verses he composed to be for God and for himself, as a way of meditating on the progress of his faith. We are fortunate enough to get to listen in.
Man alone, as the crown of creation, bears the image of the good Creator and thus has within himself the capacity and desire to create beautiful and meaningful things for their own sake.
Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And each will wrestle for the mastery there.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, from Faust
Spiritual truth is difficult for the rational mind to grasp. The Bible says the Holy Spirit will guide us to all truth and indeed, absent God’s intrusion our modern minds gravitate to only that which is reasonable – and reason is a hobbled teacher. We understand this most directly in matters of love, for as Pascal […]
Sometimes when a moment of revelation comes, it is a horrifying and violent one, and Caravaggio usually shows the instant just before the violence or its immediate aftermath.
Suicide violates the imago Dei, the image of God with which we are created, and that is simply idolatry.
El Greco was one of art history’s true originals, fusing a variety of influences into a passionate style that was uniquely his own.
Ask a man on his deathbed how he wants to use his final moments and he won’t ask to be shown his possessions one last time.
Perhaps Brueghel is asking us to ponder the fact that the most sacred moments can occur right under our noses.
The ultimate purpose of all Martin Luther’s music was in its message: to shine a fresh and unforgettable light upon the texts and teachings of Scripture, and to give a voice to the joy that the gospel brought to the human heart.
Many of his poems (he was an accomplished poet as well as an artist) show the struggle he experienced in trying to understand exactly how art and beauty fit into the spiritual life.
But once again, even in considering the possibility, I am trying to even the score.
“At the Day of Judgement we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done.”
― Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
No other artist was as effective at depicting the dark creatures that inhabit our nightmares.
Albrecht Dürer’s art is filled with a love for the rich and teeming wild world that God created as well as a longing for a better world to come.
A major target for Hitler’s acquisition in the Second World War, it spent much of that war hidden away in an Austrian salt mine, waiting for the day when Hitler hoped to make it a central exhibit in his planned postwar art museum.
According to legend, the first icon was created by the Gospel writer Luke, when he painted a likeness of Mary while she was still alive. (There is also a famous icon that shows Luke at an easel painting her.) In the fourth century Chrysostom wrote of having a portrait of the apostle Paul on his desk to inspire him as he penned his famous sermons. But the earliest surviving icons are from the sixth and seventh centuries, almost all of them preserved at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Syria.
Before Giotto, artists mostly worked from predetermined models and prototypes that had been handed down as part of the artistic tradition. These given rules and paradigms determined that artists would not stray far from the Byzantine heritage—art that was stiff, formal, and highly symbolic. But Giotto took another approach, and with it became the fountainhead of Western painting. When he approached a subject, he asked a simple question: What does it look like?
In a letter Dante wrote to a contemporary, he explained the purpose of his poem: “to remove those living in this life from the state of misery and to lead them to the state of bliss.”
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
“What intelligent things you say sometimes! One would think you had studied.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
These windows are a living metaphor for one of the goals of the Christian life—to allow God to shine through our lives and reflect his glory.
The power of encouragement.
What we often think of as Christ-like love is actually something quite sinister.
The most extensive collection of stained glass in any cathedral, with 165 windows including three rose windows.
A feather on the breath of God.
In its native state in the monasteries, there are no listeners per se, for all are expected to join into these prayers of praise and contemplation.
No amount of Herculean intellect and wit is enough.
Nearly perfect marriage between text and artistry, and is one of the great masterpieces of the Christian heritage.
A powerful testimony to the way that art could reflect deep faith and trust in God, even at a time of great persecution.
After the searching share of pain
Has cut a furrow through my heart.
The best advice I can give to a young couple, just beginning a new relationship is this –
A tasty little back-story.
Peter Berger died this week at 88 years of age. He was a giant in the cross-disciplinary fields of sociology and religion. His work is still considered essential reading in universities across the country. He was also a very funny guy. The article below was published in 1994 by First Things during the height of […]
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Both the man of old and the man of today await this spark, but only the ancient scholar-gypsy harbors any hope that the spark will come.
The cliffs were unable to provide harbor for an attack greater than that conveyed by even the fiercest weapons of war—the erosion of the faith that had defined the nation’s identity since the years of the Roman Empire.
Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,
And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan. . . .
One doesn’t struggle against something one doesn’t believe in.
Brideshead Revisited highlights a different literary era, and causes us to long for the faith which satisfies.
Nibbling at the Soul
What is metaphysics?
Not your everyday conceit…
Sexual, Physical, and Transcendent
Can Passion and Reason Coexist?
A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning John Donne As virtuous men pass mildly away, And whisper to their souls to go, Whilst some of their sad friends do say The breath goes now, and some say, No: So let us melt, and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; ‘Twere profanation of our joys To tell […]
Below me was the abyss.
I am a believer, but I am also an ecclesiastical exile.