Holy Thou Art

 

What does it mean for something to be holy? I think it means that a thing or person directs us to God or expresses His presence. Holiness is connected with pious awe. 

What artistic works seem holy to you? Which are the most peculiarly holy — holy in some unusual and perhaps less obvious sense? Is there some work of sculpture or architecture, painting or music, oration or literature that draws you closer to God in a way your associates don’t fully share? 

Does our technological era provide new opportunities for holy expression? Movies can inspire us in ways distinct from literature and stage plays. Can video games help us toward the Lord? Might we consider the many minor forms of expression, like brief videos on social media that combine the singing voices of several, even a hundred, people in delightful song? Or some modern form of animation? 

There is always much in the world to complain about. Let us momentarily focus on the good and the beautiful. Where in the arts do you find holiness and force that lifts you toward better being? 

Published in Entertainment
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  1. StChristopher Member
    StChristopher
    @JohnBerg

    The Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico as the pregnant Mother of God to Blessed Juan Diego, and Aztec Indian, on December 9, 10, and 12, 1531. She left a Miraculous Image of her appearance on his cactus fiber cloak, or tilma, which still exists today for all to see in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

    Our Lady came to offer faith, hope and

    consolation to the oppressed natives of Mexico and to reconcile then with their Spanish rulers. She put an end to the bloody human sacrifice of the Aztecs and converted ten million natives in the next 10 years!  She is the woman who carried Christ in her womb – the Christ bearer.  She leads all to her son.  

    • Several images can be seen reflected in the eyes of the Virgin. It is believed to be the  images of Juan Diego, Bishop Juan de Zummaraga, Juan Gonzales-the interpreter and others.
    • The distortion and place of the images are identical to what is produced in the normal eye, which is impossible to obtain on a flat surface.
    • THE LADY STOOD IN FRONT OF THE SUN: She was greater than their dreaded sun-god “Huitzilopochtli”.
    • HER FOOT RESTED ON THE CRESCENT MOON: She had clearly vanquished their foremost deity, the feather serpent “Quetzalcoatl.”

     

     

    • #1
  2. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Aaron Miller:

    What artistic works seem holy to you? Which are the most peculiarly holy — holy in some unusual and perhaps less obvious sense? Is there some work of sculpture or architecture, painting or music, oration or literature that draws you closer to God in a way your associates don’t fully share? 

    Handel’s Messiah, maybe.  The occasional super-good Christian rock song, like Skillet’s “I Can” (nice reflection on the mercy of the Gospel) and Newsboys’ “Lost the Plot” (best penitent church of Laodicea rock song ever).

    The occasional poetry that moves me. “The Brewing of Soma.”

    Lord of the Rings, of course.

    • #2
  3. Mike Rapkoch Moderator
    Mike Rapkoch
    @MikeRapkoch

    Music is my road to holiness. The is an organization of young singers who produce amazing hymns:

    • #3
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Perhaps @hartmannvonaue or another Ricochet member in Germany can provide a first-hand account of this centuries-old town tradition of reenacting the Easter story. 

    • #4
  5. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Mike Rapkoch (View Comment):

    Music is my road to holiness. The is an organization of young singers who produce amazing hymns:

    Amazing, indeed. Thank you.

    • #5
  6. notmarx Member
    notmarx
    @notmarx

    Holiness means separated out and given to GOD.  Hence Jews and any of us Baptized Christians. 

    When it’s spring, it’s easy to feel: everything is holy: what GOD created out of nothing and formed from chaos, and is sustained in being by His love; and you can see it all in floods of the first great gift, light itself.  And then there’s man, whom he made, male and female in His own image–blowing His Spirit right in his mouth.  You won’t exhaust it–go ahead and spend a lifetime with that one happy thought, in seeing God’s spark, and His care, in the doings of mankind, especially when they’re offered back to their primary source: everything from nine innings of baseball to lunch to King Lear to breeds of dogs and varieties of roses.  

    Among the works of man, I’m most partial to Catholic Churches, holding as they do the indwelling Presence of the Creator.  As an old man who was properly cathechized I have the sense of that Presence like I was born with it.  The old church buildings, borrowing and varying designs from Scripture, tell why they’re there; they’re far more than  meeting houses.  Look to the sanctuary lamp, the golden tabernacle door, set above the old altar, between archangels.  

     

     

    • #6
  7. notmarx Member
    notmarx
    @notmarx

    StChristopher (View Comment):

    The Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico as the pregnant Mother of God to Blessed Juan Diego, and Aztec Indian, on December 9, 10, and 12, 1531. She left a Miraculous Image of her appearance on his cactus fiber cloak, or tilma, which still exists today for all to see in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

    Our Lady came to offer faith, hope and

    consolation to the oppressed natives of Mexico and to reconcile then with their Spanish rulers. She put an end to the bloody human sacrifice of the Aztecs and converted ten million natives in the next 10 years! She is the woman who carried Christ in her womb – the Christ bearer. She leads all to her son.

    • Several images can be seen reflected in the eyes of the Virgin. It is believed to be the images of Juan Diego, Bishop Juan de Zummaraga, Juan Gonzales-the interpreter and others.
    • The distortion and place of the images are identical to what is produced in the normal eye, which is impossible to obtain on a flat surface.
    • THE LADY STOOD IN FRONT OF THE SUN: She was greater than their dreaded sun-god “Huitzilopochtli”.
    • HER FOOT RESTED ON THE CRESCENT MOON: She had clearly vanquished their foremost deity, the feather serpent “Quetzalcoatl.”

    This image strikes me as a great work of art.  Who made it?  Angels?

    There are great works of Catholic art, but I look at the popular image of Divine Mercy, or even more common, that of The Sacred Heart or Our Lady of Fatima, and they look like kitsch.  A reminder I guess I need that GOD welcomes all comers, not just singers of Renaissance polyphony. I remember the delight I had, so many decades ago, in our plastic dashboard Jesus.  It’s good to remember, and to welcome back, that simplicity if you can.

    • #7
  8. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    And now for something completely different. 

    • #8
  9. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    notmarx (View Comment):
    Holiness means separated out and given to GOD.  Hence Jews and any of us Baptized Christians. 

    I meditated on this and recalled that the Lord Himself is called holy by His angels. 

    Perhaps, holiness refers to the nature and glory of God. To the extent anything on Earth is holy, that person or thing exhibits a likeness of God or expresses His presence among us. When the angels call the Lord holy, it is praise of His incomparable and indescribable glory. 

    It’s like when a human being says to another, “That’s so you.” It means the action or trait is particular to that person; expressive of a personality. Similarly, to say that the Lord is holy is to stand in awe of that which we love about Him. 

    • #9
  10. notmarx Member
    notmarx
    @notmarx

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    notmarx (View Comment):
    Holiness means separated out and given to GOD. Hence Jews and any of us Baptized Christians.

    I meditated on this and recalled that the Lord Himself is called holy by His angels.

    Perhaps, holiness refers to the nature and glory of God. To the extent anything on Earth is holy, that person or thing exhibits a likeness of God or expresses His presence among us. When the angels call the Lord holy, it is praise of His incomparable and indescribable glory.

    It’s like when a human being says to another, “That’s so you.” It means the action or trait is particular to that person; expressive of a personality. Similarly, to say that the Lord is holy is to stand in awe of that which we love about Him.

    Well said.

    • #10
  11. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    My son is holy. He is incapable of disappointment because he is innately aware that God is totally in charge and whatever happens to us is for our own good.

    • #11
  12. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    • #12
  13. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    And Faure was not a religious man in the formal sense.

    • #13