Thursday, March 12, 2015

art and comedy

OK, so today's a THURSDAY which means....the LUMINOUS mysteries of the Rosary. St. John Paul II receives so much recognition, and rightfully so, for his theological anthropology (not just sexual ethics) called the "Theology of the Body."  Great stuff, of course.  However, his addition of these mysteries to the Rosary might constitute an equally (or more?) revolutionary contribution to Catholic life. The Rosary, after all, is the Catholic prayer.  Like many, perhaps, it took me a while to acclimate to the new mysteries.  Helping me, though, was the fourth--The Transfiguration of Christ.  The Renaissance painter Raphael produced perhaps the best-known (and certainly one of the most beautiful) paintings of it, a replica of which graces the Altar of the Transfiguration in St. Peter's Basilica.

The true, the good, and the beautiful came to mind again last week when I saw this rendering of St. Katherine Drexel  by Marian Stokes (H/T Father David Abernathy, CO, via Google+).  A different style, to be sure, but conveys the spiritual beauty and truth through the physical form.  And isn't that thus a good?  The depiction of St. Katherine at prayer provides a model and goal for our own spiritual practice.  We might not achieve the quietude and peace she found (and in that painting, is finding), but grace reaches us through (not because of) our imitation.  Thus the great and significant, like Raphael's fresco or St. Peter's basilica, need not be the only places and things through which we find that God endeavors to me us. 

So much for culture and the arts.  To paraphrase G. K. Chesterton, ya' gotta be able to laugh, too.  isn't that part of what enables us to laugh at all--a God-given, through grace, awareness that things really are different?  That good really does exist?  With that in mind, what about two of Catholic Meme's latest--a hilarious combination of Gospel prophecy and hip retro-funk/pop?

That's pretty funny (see below) but that's just the warm-up. This next one brings down the house:

If you need help grasping that last line, watch this:

Your teenagers, especially the girls, will provide help, if needed.  (BTW, since pop music is fair game on this blog, that is a very catchy tune.)

 There is a new Catholic renaissance gathering itself.  It exists online in social media--obviously, because here we are (although I am not proud enough to claim that I lead it or make essential contributions to it)--but also in life itself.  The maker of Catholic Memes and other new, innovative Catholic expressions must know their faith and tradition fully in order to make such creative links with popular culture.  Hence the "renaissance"--it really is a rebirth, and often in locations where the conventionally-minded do not expect it.  The New Evangelization appears in so many forms and so many places that we, and by that I mean all of us myself included, often inadvertently overlook an expression or two.  Part of what makes this new evangelization fully Catholic is that its joy and creativity (which shine through in the original song as well as in the Catholic memes) carries along everybody else, the conventionally-minded included.  No snark, no trolling, just joy.  Isn't that Easter's all about?

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