Pope Benedict XVI speaks to artists

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Here is a lovely and profound talk on the role of artists in the world and in the Church, recently given by Pope Benedict XVI in the Sistine Chapel. It’s a bit of an update and commentary on my very favorite letter of Pope John Paul II–the one that I have read and studied the most–Letter to Artists. In one place, Pope Benedict speaks of the “close proximity” between “the journey of faith and the artist’s path.” This harmony is something that I feel very strongly in my own life, and am always fascinated to explore.

A couple of quotations that have led me to reflect more on our responsibility as artists/writers:

“This world in which we live needs beauty in order not to sink into despair.” – quoting from Paul VI in 1965

“If we acknowledge that beauty touches us intimately, that it wounds us, that it opens our eyes, then we rediscover the joy of seeing, of being able to grasp the profound meaning of our existence, the Mystery of which we are part; from this Mystery we can draw fullness, happiness, the passion to engage with it every day.”

“Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence.” – quoting from Pope John Paul II, Letter to Artists

And finally, my favorite, from Benedict XVI himself: “The way of beauty leads us, then, to grasp the Whole in the fragment, the Infinite in the finite, God in the history of humanity.”

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