This week, I am going to direct you to the first of a series of three talks that I have been invited to give for the Institute of Catholic Culture. In this one, I describe the story of how I met David Birtwistle at a cafe in the King’s Road in Chelsea, London in 1988. As a result of this contact, I asked him to take me through a series of spiritual exercises, even though I was a sour atheist. I describe how he sold me on taking this process. The result of this is that I became an artist, as I had always dreamed, and I became a Catholic (which is beyond anything I’d ever imagined for myself). The link is here. The Institute of Catholic Culture, Part 1. Scroll down to the bottom for the video, which is an hour long.
The Way of Beauty Podcast - Episode 46 Christopher West and David Clayton on techniques for popularizing theology and philosophy so as to engage non-believers and believers alike. Our inspiration is St John Chrysostom - ‘golden mouth’ - but each of us can be golden mouthed and honey tongued if we are true to our personal vocation!
How do you turn your average Catholic parish that follows the missalette and is a state of carefully managed decline - it has an aging and declining congregation and doesn’t mind as long as the people who go are happy? How do you persuade a successful Praise and Worship parish - whose liturgy is barely distinguishable from an Evengelical Christian worship - that there is something even better?
Here Paul Jerberg and I discuss what can be done to introduce good sacred music in your parish and the need for a formation for choir directors, priests and bishops. Sacred music is not just a matter of subjectivity - most priests and bishops seem to have lost sight of the fact that there are objective standards.
Christopher West talks to David Clayton about popular culture and the New Evangelization and lessons from Bruce Springsteen and Our Lady of Guadalupe: Popular culture doesn’t speak to the lowest common denominator, it speaks to the highest common denominator. Like it or loath it, the best rises to the surface. The reason so much of it is bad is that Christians have done such a woefully bad job at participating in contemporary culture. There is a gaping hole for Christians to occupy if we want to and we could learn lessons from the cultural Marxists in this respect!
Art speaks in way that words alone cannot for as well as presenting the image, it is instrinsic to art that it connects and establishes relationships, between the viewer and the prototype, via the image and using the imagination. This stimulates the faculty by which we ‘see’ the invisible through the visible and so is essential to the development and retention of faith in God.