Thursday, December 18, 2014

O Adonai: Art's Power

Greetings on this second of the final days of Advent: O Adonai!

"O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai. O come and save us with your mighty power."

Yesterday's reflection was all about my own lack of wisdom, even though I can be somewhat of a "wise guy" at times.

Today I am drawn into thinking about God's appearance to Moses and I am left wondering about the ways that God appears to me in the "burning bushes" of my daily life. As part of my work, I get to see the various stages of the editorial, production, and proofing processes of various projects. Today one of our editors brought me the final proof of Brother Mickey McGrath's latest book with us, Dear Young People, Inspiration from Pope Francis for Everyone, which will be ready to send to the printer some time later today or tomorrow. This was my "burning bush" moment today. Mickey's art simply reveals so much about God, about the Lord Jesus, about the Holy Spirit, and about this Christian existence. As I turned the pages and read Mickey's reflections, I found myself profoundly grateful for the gift of artists like Mickey in my life.

I truly believe that God uses art to help save us. I have a favorite quote from Paul Tillich:

"The artist brings to our senses and through them to our whole being something of the depth of our world and of ourselves, something of the mystery of being. When we are grasped by a work of art things appear to us which were unknown before--possibilities of being, unthought-of powers, hidden in the depth of life which take hold of us" (Paul Tillich, "Address on the Occasion of the Opening of the New Galleries and Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art," 1964).

This is exactly what Mickey's images in this new book did for me today. What power is in good art! I will be talking more about this book when it is released. Here is a preview of the cover. All of the art is inspired by various tweets and saying of Pope Francis.


Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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