Catherine Doherty and Charlotte Mason excerpts

Woman Baking Bread, 1854.Millet
My friend Pam's requests are orders to me. As a follow up to the previous post that had an excerpt of Maurice Sendak (I don't know how I got to type Mariece or something like that!), I talked about two other excerpts that I am sharing here (although I not necessarily agree with what it is stated in them).

Catherine Doherty, "The Life of a Christian Artist" in Restoration

ART DOES NOT ONLY INCLUDE PAINTING AND SCULPTURE, BUT anything that is creative. Nor does the word 'art' refer to work only on a religious subject; all art can bring the feeling of God. It brings the feeling of truth, of a strange reality that somehow-by the grace of God- passes through the mind, the heart, and the imagination. It reminds people that God is the creator; for here is a bit of his creation, caught by a skilled artist.


Charlotte Mason, Nineteenth Century Educator

"THERE ARE ALWAYS THOSE PRESENT WITH US WHOM GOD WHISPERS in the ear, through whom He sends a direct message to the rest. Among these messengers are the great painters who interpret to us some of the meanings of life. To read their messages aright is a thing due from us. But this, like other good gifts, does not come by nature. It is the reward of humble patient study. It is not in a day or a year that Fra Angelico will tell us of the beauty of holiness, that Giotto will confide his interpretation of the meaning of life, that Millet will tell us of the simplicity and dignity that belong to labor on the soil, that Rembrandt will show us the sweetness of humanity in many a commonplace countenance.
The artist-
            "Reaching, that heaven might so replenish him,
            Above and through his art,"-
has indispensable lessons to give us, whether he convey them through the brush of the painter, the vast parables of the architect, or through such another cathedral built of sound as 'Abt Vogler' produced: the outward and visible sign is of less moment than the inward and spiritual grace."

2 opinion(s):

Pam... said...

Wow. I thank you! These two strike me:
"THERE ARE ALWAYS THOSE PRESENT WITH US WHOM GOD WHISPERS in the ear...". This makes me wonder in this busy, noisy life; will we hear if He should whisper to us?
(Of art)"It reminds people that God is the creator; for here is a bit of his creation, caught by a skilled artist." I love this thought. That it is all from Him, and bits and glimpses of his glory are 'caught' by mere humans. This means that whenever we marvel at something of beauty we must always defer back to Him. For it was first a thought of God.
What stood out to you, Silvia?

Silvia said...

I guess that what stood out to me it is the fact I do not agree with these implications (that is why I picked only Sendak´s excerpt).
I think I am nobody to stand against these two recognized women, or that no one would be interested in hearing my point of view (mostly full of typos and unintelligent).
But since you ask, I assume (and I may be wrong :), that you are interested.
I don´t think art brings the feeling of God. I think nature speaks of God because it is His creation, and art is our attempt to recreate what we perceive as true, beautiful, or worth of expressing. I disagree that God whispers to artists or anyone. It sounds very beautiful, but that to me would be accepting almost a prophetic form of talking between God and men, and implying that many artists that have a "religious" theme or inspire beauty or truth in the eye of the beholder are true christians.

But I agree with the thought you wrote that when we marvel at something of beauty, we must defer back to Him. Absolutely. All truth, beauty, and all which is good comes from Him.

Art is not His Word. I do not accept that artists or any of us are inspired by God. His Word is inspired. And I do not see God in the realm of feelings (or artistic expression), but in the realm of TRUTH. To me these excerpts state that God manifests Himself to us through art, artists, and the realm of feelings, and I disagree with that.

What makes a person a christian, the definition I gather by reading His inspired word, is narrower that what the most in the world consider christianity and christians to be. I contend it is not my definition, but His, though, and I assume this is something that makes me totally unpopular and seen as bigoted and dogmatic.

I shouldn't worry about that, not because I do not care about the opinions of others, I consider all of you my friends and what you think has an effect on me, of course. I am only human, I need acceptance and I crave to fit in, but I can't agree with others at the expense of compromising what I believe to be the Truth.



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