We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Bishop Lopes: A Pledged Troth. A pastoral letter on Amoris Laetitia.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Photo Link: Our Lady of the Rosary, Greenville, SC.

OLotR Greenville/Bradley


A few quotes from Fr. Longenecker's article How beauty saves in our little corner of South Carolina:
(L)ast weekend the Bishop of Charleston consecrated our beautiful new church. Built in the Romanesque style, the church makes a clear statement about the beauty, truth and goodness of our two-thousand-year Catholic traditions in art, architecture, music and liturgy.
Many people (Catholics included) here in America’s Bible belt have never seen a church like this.
With a nineteenth-century hand-painted crucifix in the style of thirteenth-century master Duccio, with a collection of 47 stained-glass windows salvaged from a church in Massachusetts, and with other salvaged artwork as well as commissions by contemporary artists and designers, everyone’s first words about the church are, “It’s beautiful!”
Indeed. Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “Beauty will save the world.” What did he mean by that? Why did the people of a small parish in South Carolina take the trouble and go to the expense of building a beautiful church?
We did so for several reasons.
First, we built this kind of church because the people asked for it. I have always been bemused by the modernist ideology that the brutalist church architecture of the last sixty years was somehow “of the people, for the people and by the people.”
It was not. It was for the ideologically driven architects and liturgists. The people never wanted churches that looked like ice-cream cones that had fallen from the sky. (Hilarious!—and true!)
I travel to many parishes and have made a point of asking the people if they love their church that resembles a cross between a parking garage and a circus tent. They say polite things like, “I like the padded pews.” or “The sound system is really excellent.”
No one has ever said, “It is beautiful.”
At my first building committee meeting I asked my people if they wanted a round, suburban style modern church.  They practically yelled their rejection and pleaded for a traditionally styled church.
It has been said that the Gospel is never good news unless it is subversive.
Second, we built a church that is beautiful because in this utilitarian, egalitarian and cost effective age to create something truly beautiful and lasting is subversive. Going to extra effort to do something beautiful for God presents a witness that undermines the cost-effective and efficient yet brutal values of the world.
Building a beautiful church says to the surrounding community, “Here is Catholicism. It stands for something greater than mere cheapness.”
Third, we have built a church that is beautiful because a Catholic church is not an auditorium. It is not merely a fellowship hall where the family meal is celebrated. It is also the temple of God where the sacramental presence of God is reserved, celebrated and worshipped.
Fourth, we built a church that is beautiful for theological reasons. Put simply, God is not only good and true, he is beautiful. Furthermore, He is the source and foundation of all that is beautiful.
Visit the Parish website:
www.olrgreenville.com
People take care of things of beauty and meaning. People are funny that way. If you build a building meant to last 15 to 25 years, people tend to treat it with a lot less care. Build a building to last a couple of centuries—and people invest themselves in a church as if it were their own home. Why? Because the parish church is our home!

People fill their palatial houses with fine art and plush carpeting, expensive curtains, antique furniture and costly appliances, yet most often these days they scrimp and scrape when a church is designed and built. Priorities?

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