A different sort of swan

I just read a great article on the website of The Atlantic.  In it, James Hamblin makes an eloquent defense and promotion of arts education in our schools.  Gamblin’s piece explores the concept of multiple intelligences, pointing to the arts as a useful way of accessing them all.  The example he cites is an innovative dancer named Lil Buck who’s rendition of The Swan (accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma) brought him national attention.  I’ll be the first to admit, ballet is not my thing… actually, I can’t stand ballet.  I may be the only person on earth who finds ballet utterly un-graceful.  Lil Buck’s use of jookin a hybrid form of modern dance, on the other hand, is one of the most graceful and evocative movements I’ve encountered.  He seems to skim, rather than step, across his performance zone transforming his ball-capped self into a truly convincing… swan.  I’m amazed.  Something so beautiful must, by definition participate in truth and goodness… and thus in Christ.  I’ll be re-viewing Lil Buck’s interpretation of The Swan with eyes of faith trying to encounter our Lord in his art form.

 

Why we can’t settle for less

Because God himself made us for more!  As we start a new work week, you might find these words from St. John Paul the Great helpful:

“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness.  He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.  It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more man and more fraternal.”

Holy Father, we still love you and we miss you.  Pray for us!

Just Posted

This week’s reflections on parish culture: Parish Accounting!  (See, “Weekly Reflections,” above)

Also, this past Sunday’s homily on making all things new in Christ (See, “Homilies,” above)

What’s the Deal

Starting this week, check the “Weekly Reflections Page” (above) for ongoing columns about basics of parish life… Each column will present answers to commonly asked questions from parishioners.  Enjoy!