Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fr. Robert Barron; Evangelizing Through Beauty

Listen to his lecture on evangelizing through beauty here.

Fr. Barron provides some very good insights in this talk. What struck me was how he said that it is showing people the beauty of the faith which is going to really draw people in. I appreciate how he integrates art into his evangelization style for this reason. I was watching some trailers for Fr. Barron's "Catholicism Project" series he is developing. The trailers along with this lecture are reassuring in that they are indicators of a movement I have noticed toward an increased interest in the role of art in the Church today.

Here are some trailers for the Catholicism Project. They are very high quality and you will see how Fr. Barron's interest in art is very apparent by watching them.


This series, which I believe is going to be available sometime in the fall on TV and DVD, brings to mind a quote from Fr. James Alberione, founder of one of the religious communities I'm considering. I don't remember the exact quote but it communicated the idea that the way the Gospel, the faith, is presented must be fitting in being of high quality. If you present the good news through means which are poor quality or cheesy they are not appropriate to the beauty and importance of the message. Fr. Barron really gets this. Here is my favorite thing that he said, in the first trailer I posted: "Catholicism is smart. Catholicism is beautiful. Catholicism is colorful. It's textured. It engages the mind and the heart and the body." YES! And he responds to this conviction with a commitment to providing highest quality means of communicating the faith. One reason why I am so offended by bad art, as I communicated in my post Emasculation of Jesus is that I wonder how many people have been turned away from the Catholic faith because of lame music, bad art, horrible architecture ect. I know I personally, if I didn't know that Heaven met Earth in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, wouldn't be drawn in by the beauty of the music (not saying that the person leading the music is necessarily a bad singer- though that could be the case). Same goes for the architecture in some modern Churches, some of these instead of drawing the mind and spirit to contemplate the beauty of God his Bride the Church instead are more evocative of a space station. (I have one particular church in mind when I say this). Something has gone wrong with the Church as is evident in the production of such poor art, there needs to be a spiritual-artistic renewal of Catholic Culture. Ok, yeah- so this is just a long way of me going about saying I like what I see in what Fr. Barron is doing! Later I'll write more about my feelings regarding the relationship between mediocrity of art and spiritual lukewarmness, I think I'm on to something there.

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