“Catholicism and Beauty” // 2018 LA Religious Congress Talk

“Catholicism and Beauty” // 2018 LA Religious Congress Talk


[Applause] morning everybody let’s see I’ll put this down here somewhere as always a joy to be here at at Congress I remember as many years ago I gave the the keynote in this room and it’s just one of the great places I think in the Catholic Church today this place and this gathering I’ll tell you a little story I was in Washington last week for the USCCB meetings cuz now I’m chair of this committee on evangelization so they’re all week in DC and so I was telling someone about my itinerary coming up and said well I’m here until Thursday and then I’m going to Congress and they said oh are you gonna say something on the hill are you visiting I said that bad Congress thought oh I’m I’m going to LA Congress my 20 or 21st year I’ve been coming here since 1997 pretty much every year it’s always been thank you thanks and a special joy now to be auxilary bishop of this great Church of Los Angeles so just a thrill to be with you all I know we probably everyone’s been talking about st. Patrick today on is the feast day but when I was doing my prayers this morning what was striking me was you know how much I owe to the faith of my parents passed on Catholicism to me and of course they received it from their parents my mother’s father was carried to this country in an immigrant boat in the arms of his sister he was a year old and was carried from Dublin at the end of the nineteenth century my father his grandfather came over from County Waterford sometime the end of the 19th century made his way eventually to Chicago but then trace it back over the generations back and back and back across the centuries eventually to this great evangelizer st. Patrick and I’m thinking my own work as a priest and a bishop in evangelization I mean can be traced right back to this great heroic figure that we celebrate today so I think it’s wonderful this feast day lands right in the middle of Congress so prayers – and an invocation of st. Patrick today I’ve got some pictures for you today they’ll be appearing up here on the screen you know I remember vividly I was in third grade and the teacher said you you’re big boys and girls now and so the books were gonna read just have words they don’t have pictures and I remember deeply regretting them I mean that and and I still do I still regret the fact that looks don’t have pictures in a talk on beauty you got to show pictures and that’s really part of the great Catholic imagination that it’s more than words as important as words are and my life’s been largely dedicated to words you know studying and teaching and preaching and so on but pictures the beautiful plays a key role in evangelization oh here’s last thing I don’t know if you did anyone notice this but I got back to my room after a very early breakfast I’m up on the 12th floor of the of the Hilton next door big window and I sat down to pray and there was really one of the most magnificent displays of a sunrise I’ve ever seen you ever ever notice that it was like I was looking sort of south east toward the Christ Cathedral and there are these banks of clouds which are unusual out here usually it’s a blue sky but these banks of clouds and the Sun was rising and then it was these shafts of light coming through them and it was like sessile B DeMille I thought it’s kind of a good omen for this talk on beauty in the in the Catholic tradition and especially beauty in evangelization um let’s see if I can work on my pictures here now I’m never good at these tech things let’s see hey there we go I’m beginning with this figure who is probably not a household name even among Catholics that’s appropriately enough an icon of st. John of Damascus or John Damascene he’s called sometimes he dies in the year 749 so he’s a figure from the 8th century born in the late 7th century he died in that monastery barsabbas outside of Jerusalem Jonna Damascus was a very well-educated man moved in the high sort of cultural circles of his time he’s most famous for his victory in the iconoclast controversy so you know I’m talking about there during this period there were iconic class about these were smashers of icons those who said and again to give them their due is not an unreasonable position they’re relying upon the old testament texts that say we should have no graven images of God by the way – right at that time and in that part of the world he’s a Syrian monk is la miz beginning to emerge and of course islam is a very strong sense of the transcendence of God and of the inappropriateness of ever using iconography which is true to the present day in Islam so all of this was was in the air at the time so the smashers of Ikon said we should not have sacred pictures we should not have representations of God or Christ or the Saints well John of Damascus this man rose up he disappear from the screen where’d he go that’s not John of Damascus you don’t want me up there don’t look at me look there he is Jonathan Mascis rises up and he defends icons now what’s his argument he knew the counter-arguments very well his argument was very simple but very powerful st. Paul refers to Jesus as the icon of the invisible God is God invisible yes in his own of nature of course he is God beyond all differentiation beyond all specification yes indeed however however God himself has made an icon a picture an image in the humanity of Jesus well it was good enough for God John of Damascus said it should be good enough for us and so he said our icons our beautiful depictions of God and of Christ and of the saints of the Blessed Mother our participation in the primordial iconography of God himself okay and you say well that’s a little interesting bit of intellectual history oh but think again without John of Damascus no medieval cathedrals without John of Damascus no Sam Chapelle without John of Damascus no Michelangelo no Sistine Chapel ceiling no tradition of the use of the arts and of beauty to propagate the gospel and so he is really one of the most pivotal figures in the great tradition so I wanted very much to to start with him you know there’s a there’s a direct line from John of Damascus to an old Woody Allen movie called Hannah and her sisters remember that one from the 80s I think it was well in that movie Woody Allen is playing typically an erotic figure trying to figure things out and he’s not a religious quest well one point he comes to the Catholic Church and he sits down with a priest and the priest says well how come you’re interested in Catholicism and Woody Allen’s character said well first of all it’s such a beautiful religion well there’s a direct line from John of Damascus to that insight that yes indeed we are a beautiful religion and we’ve used the beautiful to propagate the faith I don’t know if you know the name Malcolm Miller I should have found a picture of him where did John of Damascus go I’m back up there again there he goes okay good Malcolm Miller for many many decades I think he’s still alive but many decades gave tours at Chartres Cathedral in France the greatest of the cathedrals and I was privileged many times when I was a student there to take his tour well one time he said this in a lecture I get the fact that the church always needs to reform itself right ecclesia semper ray for Monda the church must always be reformed is a great Catholic principle but Malcolm Miller said Malcolm Miller who loves Chartres Cathedral with all his heart he said but when we start destroying beautiful things you know that a legitimate reform has now become a corruption dead right it seems to me that’s the sign things have gone bed if we start smashing the icons John of Damascus was against it in the 8th century we should still be against it today because as Catholics we like folks with pictures in them you know we like evangelization that speaks but also that shows ok let me show another image here and if you remember this fellow he’s kind of a hero of mine that says oma he loosed EJ who was the Archbishop of Paris during the 80s and 90s of the last century I had the privilege when I was a doctoral student in Paris to hear him preach almost every Sunday he would preach at 6:30 evening Mass at notre-dame Cathedral on Sundays in the typically French style by the way he preached for 20 minutes was a short sermon usually 25 or 30 minutes if you gave a 10-minute homily in France they think you were sick or you hadn’t prepared that week right but he would give these these marvelous homilies and beautiful French but also drawing typically upon the tradition of of Israel now that’s pretty natural because as you probably remember Jomo he loosed EJ was a Jew born and raised a Jew and then at the terrible love time of the Nazi period in the and the show up his mother died in the Shoah but he was sent to live with a Christian family for his own protection but while he was there he began to read the New Testament so his mind was starting to be filled with the Christian ideas but the decisive moment came when young Roma Hebrews TJ about the age of 13 walked into one of the great cathedrals it was not so much argumentation or doctrine or words that did it though they played a role and though he was a great man of words don’t get me wrong but it was the beauty of the cathedral that worked some alchemy in him that led him to say I believe it was the cathedral that converted him this next figure you probably don’t know and he’s not again not a household name but one of the great Catholic artists of the last century that’s Paul Claudel Paul Claudel died the year I think was 1955 so he’s born late 19th century and lives toward the middle of the 20th century Claudell was a great a diplomat he was a man of affairs but also a magnificent poet and playwright as a young kid he was a non-believer so like many of the young kids today the so-called nuns right who’ve drifted into non-belief he was like that as a young man and then one day he wandered into Notre Dame and Cathedral in Paris and they mark the spot the very spot he was standing when he was listening to evening Vespers being sung and he was looking up at that for my money the most magnificent of the rose windows that’s the North Rose window at notre-dame hearing the Vespers being sung seeing that image the non-believing paul claudel came to faith not arguments not doctrines though he too became a magnificent man of words but it was the beauty of Notre Dom that moved him to faith I’m gonna keep that image up there for bid and that’s that I’m drawing any connection between myself and the great Luce TJ and Paul Claudel but let me go back to June the 12th 1989 it’s a date I remember very vividly it was my first day in France so I was going over to the SU catholique in Paris for my doctoral studies and I left Chicago and whenever I hear talk about you know the initiation rituals and you know kind of coming-of-age experiences that’s what comes to my mind was that day when I left behind my family and my friends and my country and my language and ventured out into this new world I landed in Paris that day June 12th I had in my wallet the address of the house where I was going it was the Redemptorist house on Montparnasse this pre-sell phone of course pre GPS all I had was a piece of paper I remember that and you write with a pen on it that’s what I had in my pocket and I got to the place I dropped off my bags I was jet-lagged I was tired I was I was anxious half miss starting this great adventure but I wandered immediately down to Notre Dame I knew you know roughly where it was I’d never been to Paris before but I knew roughly where it was wander down there I walked up the nave I came to the transept and I stood pretty much exactly where Paul Claudel stood and I looked up at that window now I I was a priest at the time it wasn’t a non-believer I fully believed the Christian faith but there was something about that window that was so powerful so I stood that day for probably 20 minutes looking in and this is I’m not kidding when I say this I came back every single day that was June 12th until I went home for Christmas so sometime in mid December I came back every single day and I stood roughly from where that picture was taken and stared at that window and what was happening and I still can’t entirely explain it obviously not words or doctrine or teaching but that window was working in me I think something very similar to what it worked in John Mayall he was DJ what it worked in paul claudel it was working some alchemy of the soul that was drawing things together convincing me at the level of the heart and I think now if I go back over books I’ve written and so on speeches I’ve given over the years how often the symbolism of that window plays a role beauty beauty can grab us sometimes in a way that’s beyond what words can community so we’ll move from lucy j and paul claudel and Notre Dame to Pope Francis because Pope Francis I think him and one of his many gifts is the gift of the beautiful gesture right now he is a man of words God knows as all these people are but the particulars enos of Pope Francis I think is the beautiful gesture the washing of the feet the embracing of the man with the severe deformities the paying of his of his bill at the priests hostel II I mean you know all the the moves that he makes and I don’t mean that at all cynically I think he’s a great artist who uses these beautiful gestures to communicate the Christian faith but you remember in his encyclical Ava and jelly gaudium and it can I give it a little editorial here you know all the debate about amorous Leticia and and I get it I if I love amoris Laetitia is full of all kinds of wonderful things and we’ve been debating about the famous chapter eight and nothing wrong with that debate it’s important one but my fear is that it can block our awareness of the importance of this document because Francis himself has on many occasions said the key to my pontificate is evangelii gaudium it’s a great statement on evangelization and of course and this is hopes typically do this he’s using that title he’s mimicking Avon jelly nun see on day of Paul the sixth right which is the master text of the New Evangelization that’s where it all started the granddaddy of the New Evangelization the church doesn’t have a mission the church is a mission all of that which then massively influenced the pontificate of john paul ii so that’s the letter that pope francis sees and i think quite correctly as the linchpin the key to his papacy now i’m highlighting it here because in that great letter you find a stress upon the via pulchritudinous that latin phrase for wait for him the way of beauty the way of the beautiful he’s standing right in the tradition I’ve been outlining words yes indeed and again please don’t get me wrong on this Oh Bishop Baron he’s just for beauty not for words no I just gave a talk last weekend at a conference at Notre Dame and I I’ve made a great stress on a new apologetics and these intellectual issues that are be deviling our kids so don’t get me wrong however I agree with Pope Francis here that the via pulchritudinous from John of Damascus on has been and should continue to be a great means of evangelization ok that’s my introduction but I don’t get worried that’s the speech won’t be that long that’s 20 minute introduction well don’t worry it won’t be that long well I know what you’re tempted to say um the beautiful okay I get it I guess the beautiful but look it’s an Beauty kind of subjective ephemeral you know beauty’s in the eye of the beholder isn’t it I mean what’s beautiful for you is not beautiful for me so I mean how can the beautiful really be a route of evangelization or proclamation of the Christian thing well let me draw your attention now to this this fellow [Music] hunters when Baltazar one of the great theologians of a 20th century Baltazar in his work I’ll put my philosophers head on for a second here he reversed the content transcendentals so Immanuel Kant gives us the critique of Pure Reason than the critique of practical reason and then the critique of judgment he looked at the true then the good then the beautiful right Baltazar reversed it in his work so he gave us first what’s called the glory of the Lord it’s a seven-volume study of beauty in the in the Christian tradition he then gave us the Theo drama which is an exploration of the good and then finally he gave us the Theo logic the truth now the vault is our insight that beautiful is not some little ephemeral thing off on the side the beautiful as one of the three great transcendentals that means wherever you find being you’re gonna find the good the true and the beautiful and now listen and today especially the beautiful might be the best route of access I think Baltazar intuitive those now how come well think of our postmodern time that we’re in you talk about the truth right I got the truth for you what’s the typical reaction in our culture when you say I got the truth for you and you better believe it right hackles go up even more so when you say I’ve got the good I’ve got the life you ought to be living why aren’t you living it right that’s when the hackles go up even more dramatically in our relativistic postmodern time truth and goodness can be awkward starting points but and I think Baltazar got this the beautiful is less threatening it’s more winsome isn’t it ok I’m not telling you what to think or how to act I’m just saying look look think of Paul Claudel or me I’m June 12 1989 looking at the Rose window it wasn’t it wasn’t dictating terms to me wasn’t tell me what to think or how to behave but look at it just look at it and its beauty will work some kind of alchemy in you I think Baltazar gotta that beginning with the beauty of Christ will lead you to the imitation of Christ which will finally lead you to understanding Christ from the inside does that make sense start with the glory of the form look look at him look at the icon of the invisible God and then you’ll be drawn into that life you want to live it then having lived it you’ll understand instead I mean the rhythm from the beautiful to the good to the truth can I suggest everybody I think we tend to get that backwards and that causes trouble evangelical II I’m gonna go from Baltazar to Denny McLain now anyone here remember Denny McLain is there anybody any Detroiters here by any chance [Applause] all right good a handful of you remember for dunya McLain the last man to win 30 games in a major league baseball season well when I was a kid Denny McLain was my hero I grew up I spent five years as a little kid outside Detroit and in nineteen it would have been 1967 my dad brought my brother and me to a Tigers game in the old Tiger Stadium so I’m seven years old you now know how old I am I was seven years old and though it happened a long time ago it is vividly in my memory coming up with my dad and my brother out of the bowels of Tiger Stadium it was a night game and seeing that that bright green field and Denny’s got the home uniform on there so that the gleaming white of the Tigers uniforms and there I want on the beautiful field and these beautiful uniforms watched the players play and anybody that sensitive to sports knows that the joy of watching sports and the Greeks understood this was the beauty of it right I mean watching amateurs play is not all about that thrilling but when he watched the professionals play really know how to do it it’s the beauty of the play way I’m seven years old but I am as struck by that scene as I was years later by the by the North Rose window the beauty of the game I got one more Tiger up there yeah there’s the the great Al Kaline and again Detroiters remember him yeah all four of you remember inhale can’t find the greatest Detroit Tiger probably got three thousand and seven hits in his career 399 home they think anyway there’s LK light he’s in his in the away uniforms and that quite as brilliant as the home uniform but I watched the Tigers play that night in that Stadium the beauty and radiance and splendor of the game showed itself to me now what did it lead to almost immediately a desire to play so it was that year that I joined Little League I played t-ball you still have t-ball by the way for little kids so I love t-ball and it got me into baseball because having seen the beauty of it I wanted to play then I play baseball from the time I was seven to Levis Pie about 16 or so in high school having played I came to understand the game from the inside right the rules and regulations and disciplines of baseball became natural to me they were not imposed as some terrible burden from the outside but playing the game I came organically to understand the reason for the rules and disciplines of the game in other words I followed long before I knew who Hans or von Balthasar was I followed the Baltazar rhythm from the beautiful look at that to the play the good I want to play and finally to the truth understanding yes even our Cain rule such as the infield fly rule right baseball fans know what I’m talking about two runners on base if there’s a pop-up in the infield the batter is automatically out because the infielder could catch the ball drop it on purpose and force a triple or double play right now I like the infield fly rule that’s a cool rule and once you you played baseball you say yeah yeah that makes sense I like that okay you’re teaching baseball to a kid what don’t you do you bunch of seven year olds all right listen boys let’s begin with the infield fly rule right come on I mean we’ll get there and I love it don’t get me wrong I love the infield fly rule little pinky rule a little pinky rule it helps the integrity of the game see I think one of the problems we have let’s talk for another day is in the teaching of our faith we often begin with the infield fly rule nono begin with the splendor and the glory of the game you bring those kids onto the field I had coaches when I was a little guy good coaches who got us down on our hands and knees to touch the infield and that’s a good move because if you’re an infielder and you need to feel the ball you can’t be afraid of getting dirty you can’t be afraid of falling down you got to get comfortable in that space the smells and rhythms and beauty of the game that’s what you start with so I think for us Catholics begin with the splendor of Catholicism the splendor of the game the splendor of the life draw people then to the good and finally to the truth okay Al Kaline it’s nice to see those guys they were my heroes when I was a little kid okay this next figure after a while all German intellectuals begin to look alike don’t they that that could be Ron er that could be Tillich it could be Baltazar they all begin to look like older men with glasses you know but that’s a photo of Dietrich von Hildebrand Dietrich von Hildebrand is maybe again not a household name but one of the really great figures in 20th century Catholicism fascinating a personal story that man bear has a distinct privilege of being in the 1930s Adolf Hitler’s prime enemy that’s true during the 30s he was of the editor of a magazine very anti-nazi magazine in Austria and Hitler said at one point the number one guy I’m against is Dietrich von Hildebrand that’s a that’s a signal honor that the wickedest man of the twentieth century thought you were his worst enemy that’s high praise you know so von Hildebrand was not just an intellectual but an act just as well he was chased and finally out of Europe during the awful Nazi period ended up in this country where he taught at Fordham for many years I had the privilege but if you remember this name you word Cousins edited that that Paulus series on spirituality you were it was a wonderful soul I got to know him he was a student of dietrich von Hildebrand so it was from u’re that I learned some of his world but here’s why I bring him up in his writings he makes a distinction between what he calls the merely subjectively satisfying and the objectively valuable the merely subjectively satisfying and the objectively valuable see this is on the point of always in beauty just kind of in the eye of the beholder just kind of a subjective impression no no it hinges on this distinction and now let me make this concrete for you so last night there was a dinner here for the bishops who are here for the Congress in fact I learned last night’s the first time in the history of this Congress that four Cardinals have been in attendance so they were there last night Cardinal Mahony and Cardinal Tagle Cardinal although he’s the Cardinal from El Salvador I remember his last name though and Cardinal Arbour alias from from Sweden so a four Cardinals at the dinner and and the bishops were there okay well it’s Friday during Lent right and you’re looking at a fish hater my Irish grandmother was was actively allergic to seafood and I and I don’t have quite that but I think I inherited something of her dislike because to me when fish comes into the room it’s like garbage has arrived all right come on there are some fish haters right weird there are some fish haters here I bet well and may I say for those who don’t hate fit where are the ones that suffered during limbs right I mean that feel a bit like fish what’s the big deal you go from one favorite dish to another but see for people like me it lends Friday and Lent is is hard well anyway god bless him Archbishop Gomez noses about me so he had arranged for a little special pasta dish for me god bless him oh it’s nice of it now here’s my point I hate fish that’s true but it would never occur to me in a million years to go on a campaign to make sure that nobody else eats fish right it would never occur to me to think well that’s something that everybody should should hold to nobody should eat fish no no I fully recognize that fish is not subjectively satisfying to me it doesn’t appeal to my kind of subjective likes and dislike now turn around and I have the taste of like a seven-year-old my favorite meal is spaghetti and meatballs if you were taking me out for dinner and I started in France it’s kind of embarrassing I’d find wise I don’t know anything about that I give me a spaghetti and meatballs I’m delighted but see again it would never occur to me in a million years to go on a campaign to make sure that everybody likes spaghetti meatballs of course not I mean that’s just subjectively satisfying to me right okay we all understand that category but says dietrich von Hildebrand there’s a distinction between that and the objectively valuable what’s that now be objectively valuable that is not something that is contained and corralled by my subjectivity that is something that is so overwhelming in its value that it rearranges my subjectivity it changes my subjectivity von Balthasar says the beautiful chooses me it elects me and then sends me on mission spaghetti and meatballs electing me and sending an admission come on that’s just subjectively satisfied the objectively valuable is something before which we kneel whose primacy and power we acknowledge now give example if you bring somebody into the Sistine Chapel let’s say hey welcome and you begin to explain and show some of the Sistine Chapel and that person were to say yeah it’s nice but it’s just that my thing well it’s just absurd it’s just an appeal to me or you plays in Beethoven’s of seventh Symphony like the second movement of a seventh symphony which is so magnificent remember in the movie The King’s Speech is that when the king is giving his speech they’re playing the second movement of the seventh symphony if you if you introduce that to someone and they say I just don’t like it well then then you’re wrong you beat legitimate to say right because that’s not something merely subjectively satisfying that’s something objectively valuable see that’s what beauty is everybody that’s what the beautiful is is the objectively valuable that’s why things like Gothic cathedrals and rose windows have a soul transforming influence on people like Luce TJ and Paul Claudel and little me and June’s of 12 1989 that’s why your whole life can change in the presence of the beautiful now let me go from dietrich von Hildebrand to Nobel laureate and personal hero of mine Bob Dylan living of course in the confines of our archdiocese in Malibu he’s not quite in my pastoral region I wish he were I wish he were in Santa Barbara pastoral region um here’s where I put Bob Dylan up there Oh about 20 years ago there was a article in Rolling Stone magazine and they asked was a survey article they asked rock stars themselves what was the first song that rocked your world now it’s a cool question and I understood immediately what it was getting it what was the first song it’s very much like TJ von Hildebrand the first song that rocked your world see they were not asking were they what was the first song you liked what’s the first song you found subjectively satisfying you don’t mind was by the way I can tell you exactly what was remember the Archies sugar sugar sugar dude it – dude – oh honey honey remember see it’s popular you don’t want me to go out believe it to this day if I’m driving out to Santa Barbara or something and that song came on the radio I get into it you know sugar sugar right I still like it but look I knew that’s not the song that rocked my world I liked it you know the first song that rocked my world was Bob Dylan’s like a rolling stone I remember hearing for the first time I was a was a freshman in college I was 17 and that song came I think I’m the radio or record I forgot how it was I heard that song and I had to hear it over and over and over again and I’ve been listening that song for forty some years and still trying to understand it not long ago I read an account by Patti Smith you know the rocker who’s very articulate writer in fact she performed at the ceremony when Bob Dylan got the Nobel Prize but Patti Smith talked about when she first heard like a rolling stone she was in her car she pulled the car over to the side of the road and just sat down on the curb with her head in her hand I totally get that I totally sugar sugar I like it it would never make me pull the car over and sit down and and muse on the meaning of life you know I mean but like a rolling stone did and does why because there’s a difference between the subjectively satisfying and the objectively valuable and beauty belongs to that extraordinary category okay that’s the second part of my talk we’re moving along here okay old Tom is acquaintance I go from one hero to another Bob Dylan two towns acquainted Thomas said the beautiful occurs at the intersection of three things integrity us consonant Xia and Claritas he’s Latin for I’d say integrity Oz is like wholeness consonant Xia I render as as harmony Conn sonar a to sound together and Clary toss side render as radiance or splendor when wholeness harmony and splendor come together you have the beautiful weather it’s a beautiful face a beautiful day a beautiful experience a beautiful catch if you’re watching a football player integrity toss consonance eeeh Clary toss when they come together we say that’s beautiful this for golfers and like most amateur golfers I mean I like playing golf I’m terrible at it but but I like playing golf and I like watching golf and of course people love to analyze the golf swing don’t they and you can tell it as second when an amateur is swinging the club can’t you in a second you can tell thanks that’s an amateur and you can tell a pro what do you notice about a pro golf swing it has integrity us it’s about one thing I’m saying my golf swing is about many things it begins here but a proper golf swing has Holness more to it it has consonance eeeh every element in the swing is in a harmonious relationship to every other element in bad golf swings the rest of us were at odds with our selves thats why we hit the ball so poorly and then finally a beautiful golf swing has splendour you say like now that’s a golf swing right there’s something radians about it it is no accident whatsoever that we put halos around Saints why because the Saints life has integrity us wholeness it’s got consonants here every element of it fits together with every other element and that leads us to say look how splendid wholeness harmony and radiance okay from Thomas Aquinas to a John Madden remember him he’s been off the scene now for a little while but the great football announcer as many years ago I was watching a football game but he was announcing and you know John Madden likes the like the rough-and-tumble guys yeah he didn’t like the sort of spelt running backs he liked the linemen that were down there you know and the line so he’s common in the game and the camera is going along the sidelines and it finds this figure it wasn’t this guy but I’m going to show him it was it was like this guy it found this lineman and he had the jersey was all you know kind of ripped he had the black stuff like yeah under the eyes sweating helmet off hair all messed up standing like this you know and John Madden said now there’s a beauty and I always think of that when I when I read Thomas Aquinas on the beautiful what was he noticing wholeness harmony and radiance that that football player had he was a he was about one thing he was he was gathered around the one task of being alignment every element that made him up fit together there was a harmonious ‘no Sabean and it led john madden in a kind of burst of joy to say ah there’s a beauty so it can be from the sublime to the ordinary the objectively valuable but it’s what leads us to say ah there’s of beauty and the catholic tradition has been able to use that now over across the centuries let’s go from a football player to Plato I know Plato is a complicated figure here because in one way Plato is against the arts when you read him II he thinks that arts move us further away from the forms you know so there’s there’s that element of Plato but there’s another stream in play oh that’s been hugely influential and it comes from his great dialogue the symposium most of us read the Republic if we’re in like philosophy of class but take the time it’s much shorter to read the symposium which is a dialogue between a lot of people were sitting around drinking late one night except for one lady around the table whose name is do tema and that’s a depiction of do tema well she gives a speech and the whole thing’s about the nature of love right that’s what the symposium is about what’s the nature of love she gives a speech which has been extraordinarily influential in the Western tradition and I’m gonna read you a little bit of it here’s from Plato’s symposium do tema began the candidate for this initiation she’s talking here about the initiation into the beautiful how do you understand the beautiful the candidate for this initiation cannot if his efforts are to be rewarded begin to early to devote himself to the beauties of the body she’s talking about the particular physical thing person or object right so you start with this this beautiful thing or person object in front of you if his preceptor teaches him well he will fall in love with the beauty of one individual body or thing so that his passion may give life to noble discourse you start with the particular and you see you notice its beauty and that that begins the journey Vanel listen next he must consider how nearly related the beauty of any one body is to the beauty of any other he will see if he is to devote himself to loveliness of form it will be absurd to deny that the beauty of each and every body is the same so now I start with this particular object then I begin to see look all around there are similar beautiful things people objects right so the mind begins the journey outward to other forms of the beautiful but then listen next do tema goes on he must grasp that the beauties of the body are as nothing compared to the beauties of the soul so that wherever he meets with spiritual loveliness even in the husk of an unlovely body he will find it beautiful enough to fall in love with and to cherish lovely in this so now we go from the beauty of the individual to the beauty of all physical things now to the beauty of the soul to the beauty of the spiritual realm but now listen as it goes on and from this he will be led to contemplate the beauty of laws and institutions so now the minds going out further and further to evermore horizons of the beautiful and next she goes on his attention should be diverted from institutions to the sciences so that he may know the beauty of every kind of knowledge see we start with the particular and we go out out out to ever wider horizons of what’s beautiful and then I love this this will influence I’ll show you in a second the whole tradition deity m’a says and finally turning his eyes toward the open sea of the beautiful itself he will find in such contemplation the seed of the most fruitful discourse and the loftiest thought from this particular beautiful object body person to all other objects and bodies been to institutions then to laws then to Sciences and finally out to the open sea how wonderful infinite the open sea of the beautiful itself you see what she’s doing here in this magnificent speech how the particular beautiful leads us if we allow it to the source and horizon of the beautiful itself which we recognize is God that’s what was happening to show me loose DJ and to paul claudel and to me that day in June of 1989 it’s what happens if you allow it whenever you experience the beautiful okay this wonderful move by do tema and if you remember no one or nothing else for my speech remember her and and look her up on the web or something and find that great speech I just read a few things from it but see this play tonic move is mimicked many centuries later by this great figure again one of my intellectual heroes Dante you know the wonderful story of Dante and baya to each a right Beatriz we say in English it sounds so banal doesn’t in English baya to each a sounds so beautiful Dante met bayit Vijay when he was nine and she was eight but it was like it was like Paul Claudel an orthros window it was like John Madden with the lineman he saw he saw a attorney che and he was so overwhelmed by her beauty that she just came to dominate his thought his heart he dedicated his life at the age of nine to her in the chivalric manner of the middle ages right he would sing her praises then he did not see her talk to her for nine years until this famous scene which is not coming up as I hit the button oh come on don’t don’t stop here there it goes great 9 years later so he’s 18 she’s 17 this is baby she and two friends they’re walking along the arno the great river in florence dante there in that little cap spots them they attach a kind of gave him one little look across the shoulder exchanged one or two words it was enough to change his whole life her beauty he writes in the wake of that experience this wonderful book called la Vita Nuova the new life I put there people in this room I mean you know what I’m talking about I’ve been trying to hint at it in this in this talk in adequately but you know what I mean that when you’ve experienced the beautiful think of Patti Smith sitting on the curb or their head in their hand that a new life opens up when the beautiful chooses us and elects us and sends us on mission right that’s Baltazar it a new life opens up why because this individual beautiful object or thing or whatever has now opened me implicitly to God the source of all beauty what does Dante say at the end of the Vita Nuova I will write a poem for her more beautiful than any poem ever written and by God he did but the commedia the Divine Comedy is a hymn of praise to bayit Ricci but see what does bayit VJ do in that great poem after Dante’s been led through hell and up the Mount of purgatory he comes now for his journey into heaven his journey to God who comes to guide him but bayit VJ from her heavenly place and leads him down the journey into God so it goes from do tema now to dante is the beautiful can lead us now to an experience of God how wonderful by the way go back to Bob Dylan for a second remember his great song tang up in blue and he Bob Dylan fans here remember she opened up a book of poetry and handed it to me it was written by an Italian poet from the 13th century and every one of those words rang true and glowed like burning coal pouring off of every page like it was written in my soul from me to you tangled up in blue where is he getting that from that the book of holt written by an Italian poet from the 13th century Dante he’s reading the Divine Comedy which lit a fire in him what happened to Bob Dylan by the way soon after he wrote that song he became a Christian he was led to a deeper experience of God so it goes so it goes okay one more little stop here on this journey next we come to this great figure of James Joyce and I appropriately on st. Patrick’s Day to celebrate this Irish figure born and raised a Catholic of course repudiated the faith sort of publicly and officially but I agree with the many people that say he never really stopped being a Catholic and the Catholic spirit runs all through James Joyce that’d be a talk maybe for another day at Congress but I want to draw your attention simply to one famous scene in Joyce’s great book a portrait of the artist as a young man remember that wonderful text young Joyce has just decided that he’s not going to be a priest he had thought about that he’s trying to figure out how what do I do with my life what do I become and he’s walking on this strand he always calls it the beach right outside of Dublin and he spies a young beautiful girl standing out in the surf listen now to his description a girl stood before man midstream alone and still gazing out to sea well we made to think of her but do tema looking out at the open sea of the beautiful itself right now listen she seemed like one who magic had changed into the likeness of a strange and beautiful seabird her long slender legs were delicate as the cranes and pure save were an emerald trail of seaweed had fashioned itself as a sign upon her flesh her slate blue skirts were kilted boldly about her waist and dove tail behind her her hair her long hair was girlish and girlish and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty her face listen again now she was alone and still gazing out to sea and when she felt his presence and the worship of his eyes her eyes turned to him and quiet sufferance of his gaze long long she suffered his gaze and then quietly withdrew her eyes and bent them toward the stream there she is this beautiful girl looking out to the open sea Joyce sees her isolated Integra toss he describes all the elements that makes up her beautiful figure consonant Xia and then listen comes Claritas Oh heavenly God cried Stephen soul that’s the author in an outburst a profane joy from do tema through dante to joyce everybody that’s the rhythm is the beautiful thing person object in front of us this particular beautiful thing can lead us now to the open sea of the beautiful itself looking at the beautiful thing we can say if we’ve got the eyes and the mind and the heart to take it in we can say Oh heavenly God it’s a route of evangelization okay just a couple more stops on this little journey and then we’ll bring it to a close a really really good example of what I’ve been talking about is I think the greatest catholic novel of the 20th century and I’ve been talking largely about visual art so far but half when you do a whole thing here on well dante horse literary art bob dylan to music all these different forms but this is of course evylyn wha the author of Brideshead Revisited which i think is the finest catholic novel of the 20th century look at the next one here on the right is that’s that very young Jeremy Irons that’s that splendid PBS production from the early 1980s which reproduces practically every scene in the novel a Brideshead Revisited beautifully acted well that’s Charles Reiter the narrator of the novel on the right Charles Ryder is like a lot of people today kind of a cool agnostic kind of a skeptic skeptical of all religion especially Catholicism what first draws his attention is the beauty of his friend there in the middle and that’s Sebastian it was his striking looks that first got the attention of Charles and it leads him been on this journey there’s the two of them heading out to the manor house of Sebastian’s family and it’s called Brides head right well even wah is a devout Catholic there’s Brideshead it’s Castle Howard by the way England’s wonderful place to visit but it plays the role of a bride’s head in the show Christ is head of his bride the church right there for Bryan’s head is a symbol for evil in wall of the church what draws people preps the agnostics and the skeptics like Charles Ryder what draws them beauty is his answer Charles gets to that house which is in itself splendid architectural II and then it’s filled if you look at the show or read the book it’s filled with beautiful art he said it was like an aesthetic education walking through those halls so it goes in the life of the church now read that book the beauty of bright fed leaves him next to the moral demand of Brideshead he begins to realize the way the Catholics are living in that house is having an effect on him and only at the very end does he come fully to accept the truth of Catholicism as he himself becomes a Catholic my point is again from the beautiful to the good to the truth start with the splendid let it lead you to practice and let that lead you finally to truth I mentioned already the North Rose window which had such an impact on me and so many other it was being built at the same time that Thomas Aquinas was writing it’s around the early to the middle of 13th century where’s the beautiful occur at the intersection of integrity us consonant Xia and Clary Taos right look at it there it is Integra tossed the wholeness how that window is splendidly one consonant SIA how all the elements in it fit together all of them connected by those folks to the center and through the center to one another and then is there any better depiction of Claritas but all the light that pours through that window I think Aquinas who saw that very window would have seen it as as the the most splendid representation of what he’s talking about when he mentions the beautiful let me now bring it to a close with the Oh where did the Lord go come on hey don’t start a role no come on John mad we know I start with stuff with him let’s see if we find the Lord Jesus Christ again come up what am I doing wrong there he is no God’s got a sense if you were their ego all right good all right I’ll close now with with the Lord Jesus looking at Christianity we all know it is not primarily a set of ideas right it’s a relationship with him as I read the Gospels as the story of people falling in love with him read the Gospels as people drawn in to the splendor of him what do we notice his integrity us I do only what the father tells me to do he’s about one thing the integrity of his way of life and being what else do we notice but the consonance eeeh in him which means the play between his divinity and his humanity humanity is not overwhelmed by his divinity his divinity enlivens and makes splendid as humanity the play of his two natures and then what do we see but the luminosity of the one who said I am the light of the world Pontius Pilate looking at him says at che homo right behold the man with unconscious irony he’s saying look there is humanity at its finest and st. Thomas the Apostle having seen the risen Christ having probed the wombs says my Lord and my god for both of them the splendor of divinity and the splendor of humanity shone forth Christ is the beautiful form he’s the particular beautiful thing that leads us to the open sea of the beautiful itself he’s the icon of the invisible God and may we use everybody all the rich of our artistic iconic beautiful tradition to speak to our people of him god bless you all thanks for listening today everybody you

65 Replies to ““Catholicism and Beauty” // 2018 LA Religious Congress Talk”

  1. Hour long Bishop Robert Barron talk! This gonna be good. Just so you know you played a key role in my conversion to Catholicism.

  2. Hey Bishop Barron! I find your work interesting. If you see this, we're a starting up Christian clothing brand called 'fear no more'. Check us out https://fearnomoreofficial.com/

  3. This talk was very enjoyable and very true. I do think we look at those transcendentals backwards. When I first decided to look into Christianity I focused very much on the "truth" and logic side of things. It helped me to realize that rationality didn't have to be thrown out the window, and it helped me immensley in my decision to finally put my foot in the door of a church. Over time, however, I found myself falling more in love with the splendour of the Catholic Church. As a catechumen, my faith was deepened not so much by the arguments and apologetics, but moreso by those magnificent sounds, images, and rythymns that reflected the beauty of the Lord. It's as if even simple pictures of churches took the awe-inspiring glare of Christ in the transfiguration and radiated it out for my eyes to see. It's not something that you can necessarily describe with particular sets of words, but rather a stirring of heart and a movement towards the inherent magnificence of God. With my reception into the Church just around the corner, I hope to immerse myself more deeply in this beauty, and live by the commands and understand the depths of the one from which it came.

    Thank you for all your brilliant work, Your Excellency. God bless.

  4. Hey Bishop Barron, does this apply to the Catholic tradition in regards to music. Seems to me an injustice that there is a 2000 year old tradition of the most beautiful songs ever written and we only use songs written in the 60's

  5. First song that "rocked your world"? The Carpenters – Sing a Song, I was only five but listened to it over and over. I still find it a song simple and beautiful in its sound and meaning. I'm curious about what songs other people first found beautiful in the way Bishop Barron describes…

  6. Why was Pro-Abortion Same-Sex Marriage Supporter Maria Shriver a Featured Speaker at 2018 LA REC? It is this action that confuses many Catholics & drives many others away. Why even listen to the good Bishop?

  7. I despise baseball. There is nothing beautiful about it. My father forced me to play tee ball, but I much preferred to use the time to observe the beauty of the ants moving on the ground unbound by nay arbitrary rules.

  8. Great talk. I was pleased to hear of reference to Islam and its practise on images when showed his 1st picture – Icon.

  9. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

  10. So many talks on YouTube are about argumentation. This is a talk about beauty and its role in conversion. There's something in beauty that cannot be reduced to reason and is a pathway to the divine.

  11. Bring people into Catholicism through beauty, eh-? Then definitely don't bring them to the LA Cathedral!

  12. Danke. As an artist and a lost fish at sea, you are slowly pulling me in after a 35 year hiatus. Evangelization of Native people was neither beautiful nor productive though!

  13. These talks of Bishop Barron's on the intrinsic and objective beauty of certain musical compositions makes me wonder if he's ever heard anything from Morten Lauridsen, particularly "O Magnum Mysterium".

  14. I think it's pretty clear that the upcoming Youth Synod will be an all-out assault on Catholic moral teachings that have existed for 2,000 years. Amoris Laetitae was only spring training (to use a baseball term). It developed a kind of template that can be used to affirm the "ideal" and then explain why the "ideal" is no longer possible and that accommodation with 21st century secularism is needed. The "Youth" will demand nothing else.
    Bishop Barron has been a unique figure in the 21st century American Church. He has given words both deep and understandable about the true, the good and the beautiful. In this talk he explains why the "true" may be harder to grasp than the beautiful. Perhaps. But soon many in the Church will be facing a faith that has jettisoned the true and good and only has the beautiful.
    There is little the laity can do, other than oppose the road to perdition in whatever small way we can. It is the Bishops that must stop turning Mother Church into a larger rendition of the Episcopal Church politically correct in every way. It will take courage for Bishops to speak ill of those in Rome – it could ruin a career. But Bishop Barron is a follower of Cardinal George. What would he have made of Vatican coming pen in hand ready to sign peace treaties with Chinese Communism and the sexual revolution that has created a megaton of social roadkill in the West? Soon the Roman Church will its own Bishop Schori and probably its own Bishop Spout. But we will still be able to wax eloquently about Chartres – knowing that the faith that built it will leave the West and will have to wait for renewal from other lands.

  15. I'm so glad I found Bishop Barron over the last 3-years. Although throughout my life I considered myself a Catholic/Christian hearing his talks has brought me back to the faith in a unique and wonderful way. Thank you Bishop Barron for all these great talks and videos. My father named me after St.Thomas Aquinas but I never really understood the significance of how special he was until Fr. Barron’s videos. Recently my father ( who is 94 years old ) proposed that in regards to the 80 % of fallen away Catholics that we should all pray for them to come back to the faith. In other words a campaign for practicing Catholics to pray for the fallen away Catholics. This is something we rarely hear about coming from the clergy or even as part of the Prayer of the Faithful at Mass on Sundays. Prayer 🙏 is the most powerful way to change the heart. If we as practicing Catholics ( 20%) prayed for on regular basis for that 80% who do not go to Mass I believe we would make a difference.
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  16. Honestly I’m an artist ( I write novels and poetry) at heart and it sometimes makes me angry how little beauty is talked about in a theological or philosophical context. Because it is so important the world would be so grey without it. God is the most beautiful thing ever and the arts and nature are meant to sort of reflect his beauty. Beauty is so important!

  17. I did not know that the Bishop is in charge of a committee on evangelization. I respectfully suggest that the problem with evangelization may not related to the quality of the teaching in the Catholic Church which ranges from good to excellent. Evangelization may be more related to "mobilization" or "leading" than teaching. There is another field that also has great teaching and repeatedly sees little change (healthcare). However, in this field in isolated areas, and in other fields across the entire field with a different type of management (aviation), rapid change does occur when a small number (1 – 4) best practices are fully adopted. Thus, it is possible to give good teaching about 50 things and see no improvement, but if you can mobilize the faithful for 1 – 4 of the 50 things then you can see rapid improvement and that may attract nonbelievers.

    Theologically, this may be related to the "Jonathan effect" when all of Israel had given up, so Jonathan and his amor bearer attack the Philistines alone with great zeal and started winning. That mobilized all of Israel in the effort.

  18. My wonderful, little, wise, funny wife of 36 years says to you, Bishop Barron —tongue-in-cheek/ L.O.L. —"You're weird!"

  19. sublimest beauty on the way
    may point our souls aright
    beware though of deceitful paths
    disguised in shining light

  20. Thank you for your comments about Art and the importance of Beauty in our life, and in the life of the Church. Would that we would all take it more to heart!

  21. After the recent Aug 2018 massive sex predatory priests scandals on innocent kids n continuiing cover ups by the roman church highest levels of authorities, Thank GOD in CHRIST n Only JESUS, i left this 'church' in 1996 n worship JESUS in Protestant Holy Bible Based churches!!!

  22. God Bless you, Bishop.
    🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

  23. Beauty certainly matters in Catholic Church, right ?

    I do wish English translation of liturgy and Scripture were more beautiful than what’s going on now in U.S. I do wish music, the mass and hymns were more beautiful. I do wish the statues of Saints were not tacky at all.

    I’m not talking about Chartres or Vatican, but about local parish churches. I mean, in New York. I know New York is not Rome, but this is quite frustrating.

  24. "The perception of beauty is a moral test". Ralph Waldo Emerson. This is the real IQ test.

    Trump thinks his ugly wall absent of light, warmth, love, joy, meaning ,magic, truth and wisdom is beautiful. Because he is ignorant. (dead).

    The words trust, compassion and understanding are beautiful because they uplift with their magic (love).

    The words sanction, starve, punish, torture, murder and bomb are heavy like lead and suck the joy out of life with thier heavy gravitational pull. This makes them ugly.

    Sunsets uplift with their magic. That makes them beautiful.

    Polluted pig pens suck the joy out of life with thier heavy gravitational pull. That makes it ugly.

    The more beautiful the thoughts, actions, words, and pictures are , the closer to truth (love) we are.

    The more heavy (ugly) thoughts, actions, speech and actions are…the further away from truth (love) aka. god we are.

    Love fills life with beauty and makes it "beauty full". (Not to be confused with "money full".)

    "Money full" has a tendency to fill life with misery, ugliness and conflict.

    It is written that there is one good (god)…truth (love)

    And one evil… ignorance…absence of love. aka. greed.

  25. Thank you Bishop!!! I think it's kinda interesting because my dad used to say this. He would say, the first thing a man notices about a woman is her beauty and from that he learns the truth of her. Men pursue beauty first. He used to explain the call to the priesthood by saying priests were men to whom God had shown His Beauty in such a way that the beauty of women was pale in comparison. Just as a man will pursue the most beautiful woman to the exclusion of others, so he will pursue the Most Beautiful. I always thought that was a great way to look at it and this talk drew it all up in a new way!

  26. The lecture was delivered by a wonderful man with a beautiful mind (in line with all the principles he himself outlined on the beautiful). It is truly a privilege to fall under his tutelage.

  27. [NITZAVIM]
    9 (8) Therefore be shomer over the divrei HaBrit hazot, and do them, lema’an (in order that) ye may prosper in all that ye do.
    10 (9) Ye stand today all of you before Hashem Eloheichem; your rashei shvatim (heads of tribes), your zekenim, and your shoterim, with kol Ish Yisroel,
    11 (10) Your little ones, your nashim, and the ger that is in thy machaneh, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy mayim;
    12 (11) That thou shouldest enter into Brit with Hashem Eloheicha, and into His alah (oath, imprecation) which Hashem Eloheicha cuts with thee today:
    13 (12) In order that He may establish thee today for a people unto Himself, and that He may be unto thee Elohim, as He hath said unto thee, and as He hath sworn unto Avoteicha, to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Ya’akov.
    14 (13) Neither with you only do I cut this Brit and this alah (oath, imprecation);
    15 (14) But with him that standeth here with us today before Hashem Eloheinu, and also with him that is not here with us today;
    16 (15) For ye know how we have dwelt in Eretz Mitzrayim; and how we came through the Goyim which ye passed by;
    17 (16) And ye have seen their shikkutzim (abominations), and their gillulim (idols), etz va’even, kesef and zahav, which were among them:
    18 (17) Lest there should be among you ish, or isha, or mishpochah, or shevet, whose lev turneth away today from Hashem Eloheinu to go and serve the elohei hagoyim hahem (the g-ds of these Goyim); lest there should be among you a shoresh that beareth bitter poison and wormwood [MJ 12:15];
    19 (18) And it come to pass, when he heareth the divrei haalah (words of this oath, imprecation) that he bless himself in his lev, saying, Shalom be with me, though I walk in the stubbornness of mine lev—thus bringing disaster on both the watered and the thirsty.
    20 (19) Hashem will not spare him, but then the wrath of Hashem and His kina (jealousy) shall burn against that ish, and kol haalah (all the curses) that are written in this sefer shall fall upon him, and Hashem shall blot out shmo from under Shomayim.
    21 (20) And Hashem shall him separate out for disaster from all the Shivtei Yisroel, according to all the curses of HaBrit that are written in Sefer HaTorah Hazeh;
    22 (21) So that the dor ha’acharon (later generation) to come of your banim that shall rise up after you, and the ger that shall come from an eretz rechokah (a far land), shall say, when they see the makkot of that land, and the diseases which Hashem hath laid upon it;
    23 (22) And that the whole land thereof is gofrit (sulfur), and melach (salt), and serefah (burning), that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any esev groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Amora, Admah, and Tzvoyim, which Hashem overthrew in His anger, and in His wrath:
    24 (23) Even Kol HaGoyim shall say, Why hath Hashem done thus unto this land? What meaneth the heat of this af hagadol (great anger)?
    25 (24) Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the Brit Hashem Elohei Avotam, which He cut with them when He brought them forth out of Eretz Mitzrayim;
    26 (25) For they went and served elohim acherim, and worshiped them, elohim whom they knew not, and whom He had not allotted unto them;
    27 (26) And the Af Hashem was kindled against this land, to bring upon it kol hakelalah that are written in this sefer;
    28 (27) And Hashem uprooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is yom hazeh.
    29 (28) The nistarot (secret things) belong unto Hashem Eloheinu: but the niglot (those things which are revealed) belong unto us and to baneinu ad olam, that we may do all the divrei haTorah hazot.

  28. WOW! I may know the feeling of staring at something so beautiful and reflect God's power, love, art, and amazing! each day! In a boarding house in college, I would stare at my breakfast of a sunny-side-up egg. How does this egg form the body of a chick? And I reflect how egg and sperm unite and by the MIRACLE OF GOD, there is this forming and developing HUMAN LIFE! … WHAT A BEAUTY! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL GOD WE HAVE IN LIFE. AND IT IS A 9-MONTH PROCESS FOR A HUMAN LIFE! WHO COULD EVER CRASH IT?!

  29. Bishop, I feel compelled to say this that you are so cute and adorable in this talk. I wish there was a heart button here that I could click again and again. And I mean this with respect and admiration. You truly embodied the beautiful here and I feel more inspired to pursue the route of the beautiful as well. Thank you so much Bishop for all the work that you do. May God bless you more!

  30. What year were you ordained a priest? Do you know the four marks of the Catholic Church? Do you know the churches laws on jurisdiction and how it runs?

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