Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Symbols: How The Stuff of Earth Can Point Us to Heaven

On Pilgrimsarbours blog he eloquently describes the beauty of a house of worship and the transcendence that was intended by it, but often missed. When I was an evangelical christian , I ascribed to the theory of "less is best" and the simplest plainest warehouse we could find would be the "most spiritual" place to gather and worship.
I now find myself visiting the most ornate and beautiful Churches and shrines because of their ability to draw our hearts towards heaven. This time of year is so full of beautiful symbols God has given to stir our hearts and remind us of the great things He has done for us. I am so thankful that I have come to appreciate this 'quality of transcendence' that Pilgrimsarbour describes in his post. Check out his full post but here's a bit of it:

"...I think I always took the statuary, the stations of the cross, and other physical representations for granted. And being young the deep symbolism of these objects escaped me. But now I find myself drawn to the beauty of many of these things, and to Whom and to what they were designed to guide our praise and attention. I suppose I could say that I miss some of them. Protestant churches, in a reasoned bid to make sure that only Christ is glorified, and not man, often have a tendency to swing the pendulum unduly in the opposite direction"


Anonymous Nancy said...

Thanks TJ. The subject of sacred art has always been of interest to me since I have a fine arts degree and studied a fair amount of art history. You can't go through the medieval period on into the Renaissance and Baroque without addressing the relationship between art and faith (which ultimately means the Church). So the difficulties I felt as an evangelical were probably the opposite of yours, TJ; it was more of wondering why our church tradition dismissed beautiful art. Surely God-fearing artists who offered their talents to the Lord could be pleasing in His sight as well.

I was just thinking that since God is the Author of beauty (you only have to look at nature to know that), perhaps we as beings created in His image and likeness are in a way hard-wired to desire the beautiful and transcendent, even if sometimes it's buried by the effects of Original Sin and our own desires.

December 10, 2006 6:47 PM  

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