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” (CCC 2513).
The Catholic Church believes man is ordered to the good, the true, and the beautiful because in such things we encounter God. Today, we encounter “Sheep and their Shepherds,” by Henri Martin.
Sheep and their Shepherds
Sheep and their Shepherds, Image by Henri Martin (1860-1943), Oil on canvas, Painted circa 1925 © Sold Christie’s London, 25 June 2008, lot 498, for £540,000. For other beautiful works of art and daily Gospel reflections please visit my friend Patrick van der Vorst at http://www.Christian.Art.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Truth Beauty, and Sacred Art (2501)
Created “in the image of God,” man also expresses the truth of his relationship with God the Creator by the beauty of his artistic works. Indeed, art is a distinctively human form of expression; beyond the search for the necessities of life which is common to all living creatures, art is a freely given superabundance of the human being’s inner riches. Arising from talent given by the Creator and from man’s own effort, art is a form of practical wisdom, uniting knowledge and skill, to give form to the truth of reality in a language accessible to sight or hearing. To the extent that it is inspired by truth and love of beings, art bears a certain likeness to God’s activity in what he has created. Like any other human activity, art is not an absolute end in itself, but is ordered to and ennobled by the ultimate end of man (CCC 2501).
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
– St. Paul, Letter to the Philippians (4:8)
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.