Thursday, November 24, 2016

Offering God the Finest

From The Imaginative Conservative:
I remember reading about the holy Curé of Ars, St. John Vianney, that he starved himself on potatoes, but spared no expense for the embellishment of the sanctuary. He knew, like Archbishop Laud, and like faithful Christians of every age, what came first and what came second. The same was true of St. Francis, pace the falsification of his legacy by hippies who groove on Nature rather than adoring the Blessed Sacrament. Indeed, Franciscan churches are some of the most beautiful in Europe, magnificently decorated—even those that were built in periods when the friars themselves were dirt-poor beggars who didn’t know where their next meal was coming from, except that the Lord would surely provide. They knew what came first; they knew that when it is God who is to be honored, the work calls forth everything in us, everything great and glorious we can muster, for His sake. This is why the Catholics of old never built cheap churches, if they could help it, and, at least on special occasions if not more often, brought together the best musical forces they could find, to provide the most glorious music they knew.

Let no excuses be made; it should not be any different for us. Take Americans: We are a wealthy and industrious country. If we had a proper religious formation combined with some education in virtue and nobility, the trite ditties of our hymnals would evaporate and our churches would be filled with music of artistic merit. We would insist that it happen; we would make it happen through personal sacrifices; we would absorb its fruits with gratitude as we let these heavenly harmonies penetrate and shape our very souls. The same would be true of the churches we build. (Read more.)

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