Saturday, June 05, 2010

Spoiler Alert!

I've borrowed this image from THE CRESCAT, Lord knows where Kat found it.If you're at all familiar with that blog, Kat's gestalt stands alone in the universe. She'll populate her DennisMiller-esque rants with the gamut of artistic expressions-from the sublime to the....well.
One can easily imagine what commentary now crowds the combox of her post unveiling this image: LDS this, LSD that, SDA this, JDub that...etc. Others marvel over the quaintness of the image's style, the depiction of a bygone era, etc.

I wonder if the image provides us an opportunity for some self-examination? If we're personally secure within our Roman Catholic skins and accept that within that the organs of the Body cooperate with each other naturally and with total respect, then how come we so easily molt ourselves from that skin occasionally to make mirth and merry at others' expense? Does that affirm our internal comprehension of the tenets of the four pillars (One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic)? Or does it suggest we are just as susceptible to ridiculing others at a chaotic level not too dissimilar that cartoonists who need to draw images of Islam's Mohammed for no other reason than to demean the tenets of the religion? What was the second part of Christ's answers to the rabbis about the greatest of I AM's commandments again?
Okay, reverse roles when I say "go." Your best means of articulated communication is as a visual artist, but you're not particularly a brilliant artist. Your vision tends to be didactic at best, but you're okay with that. Your task: depict the dormition of the BVM, and then her assumption into heaven; depict the Immaculate Conception; depict the encounters of the BVM with Juan Diego or the children at Fatima and moments in those narratives- the roses falling from the Tilma or the spinning whirly gig Sun; depict the flying St. Joseph of Cupertino, or the bi-locating of St. Pio; depict the resolution of having three popes claim the ring of St.Peter simultaneously....
Now, let's switch gears and look for something nobler in the above image. Sure, there's no altar. But isn't there something very catholic, if erroneous (and it's not about heresy)about the central notion of a communion activized between heaven and earth in the moment of worship? Or did I read Scott Hahn's "THE LAMB'S SUPPER" insufficiently? (Don't answer that.) Isn't there something that still rings very true about the disposition of the congregation's posture and dress that calls our generation of worshipping catholics to repentance and reparations?
I'm not an aesthete, but I play one at cocktail parties. But if we can accept C.S. Lewis' Aslan and Screwtape as worthwhile depictions, or even just tolerate the lamest of catholic kitsch, what is there to gain by dissing other RELIGION's kitsch and then retreating back into our catholic skins?
On the other hand, should an innocent lamb of an LDS kid or JDub posse knock on my door with a picture of Bernini's magnificent sculpting of "The Ecstacy of St. Therese," I will be most happy to try to craft my verbal response to their puzzlement about that subject matter that disrespects neither of our predispositions.
Your mileage may vary. Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear.GO!

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