Quick Lessons from the Catechism: Truth, Beauty and Sacred Art

In recent days, I have had the privilege to view some new sacred art recently created in Northern Italy. To say that this art is beautiful would be the understatement of the month. As a child and adolescent growing up in the Catholic Church, I was subjected to some rather grim churches and terrible art. It was as if we were trying to destroy truth, beauty and sacred art and replace it with relativism, ghastly, and ugly modern art.

In a time when the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are coming to fruition, let us also reap the bountiful beauty of the Church’s sacred art and allow our parishes to be filled with art that reflects the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Communion of Saints. Catholic Churches should represent the Heavenly Kingdom and not the lower levels of the Inferno.

Stain Glass Window in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Cottonwood, AZ

Stain Glass Window in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Cottonwood, AZ

So what does the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach on sacred art?

In paragraph 2513, it states: The fine arts, but above all sacred art, “of their nature are directed toward expressing in some way the infinite beauty of God in works made by human hands. Their dedication to the increase of God’s praise and of his glory is more complete, the more exclusively they are devoted to turning men’s minds devoutly toward God” (SC 122).

To read more on sacred art in the Catechism, please see paragraphs 2500-2503. I would also check out The Foundation for Sacred Arts and the June 23, 2014 article from Catholic News Agency. I would also encourage to check Steve Bird Art for some fantastic paintings, drawing, and sculpture.

Interior of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper, IN.

Interior of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper, IN.

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