The Church as a patron of the Arts
As members of the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish it’s easy to notice how we try to foster an appreciation for the arts and the look for opportunities to help them flourish in order to inspire and enrich our lives. Each year at our Fiesta we host The Spanish Arts Market, and later in the summer we host the Sacred Music Concert connected with the Land of Enchantment opera.
This begs the question, Why does the Church foster the arts?
This question leads us back to that crucial moment in salvation history, The Incarnation. That moment when Jesus, who is the Word of God, became flesh. The God who made the Beauty of creation, made Himself visible. Because of that, we use the things of creation, to Glorify God by our works, in the arts.
Beauty helps us to understand God. It points to God, and helps us feel His presence. We know this when we see the beauty He has created, in the mountains, in sunsets, in the stars, in babies!
The Vatican museums are a collection of some of the greatest art ever created. The Church doesn’t horde artworks for her own benefit but in order to share our patrimony with the world. The purpose of the Church, its mission, is
to announce Jesus to the world,
to bring people near to God to recognize His Love.
His love fulfills us, and it is beautiful.
God is personified beauty.
All beauty comes from God.
So, in order to demonstrate that beauty, we create and share, music, painting, sculpture, architecture and every other form of art. Art has always been part of the ministry of the Church.God has become Visible in Christ, and Christ has revealed and manifested His Father.
The beauty of art is the representation of this supernatural reality. We develop human fields of art to achieve the expression of the mystery of God.
The challenge for Christians is to create art that actually brings us nearer to God.