“I think we need a more contemplative stance towards life, to see the deep religious and human truths that are there. We can only go so far with words and books. There is another level within us, a symbolic level or image level, that touches us very deeply. I think artists have the privilege in the Church, and they have had it throughout history, to open up that level so that people can see the mystery of God. The artist speaks, not just literally, but symbolically. I think visual images, if they are well done, can move us there. That’s a ministry.”
—Brother Michael Moran, C.P.
“In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by Christ, the Church needs art.” — Pope John Paul II
I’m really intrigued by the artists who are working to create contemporary sacred art. While our religion may be steeped in tradition, our lives are vibrant, changing, and expressive — and the art in our homes and churches should reflect that. At least a little more than they do right now.
My home parish is extremely modern, and I do feel like there are things lacking in our worship because of it… while the sculptures and stained glass in our church are more contemporary, they don’t really “speak” to me. They don’t have the emotional pull, the awe-inspiring factor, the contained beauty that reflects the faith and the life of the Church. And if we lose sight of the glory that art should bring to our faith, then we lose the point.
But let me show you some of the amazing things I have discovered recently: