Wisdom on Wednesdays—Poets, pagans, and magicians

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Nativity, oil on canvas, 30 x 36 in.

“Those who believe in magic, the poets and the pagans, should be tenderly handled by the theologian.  The magician, as with the shepherd, is the first worshiper of Christ, and Christ without magic is unthinkable: the burning bush, the speaking stones, the possessed pigs, the fermented water, and so on, culminating in the bread which is the flesh of God and the bleeding grape from the vine of the murdered Christ.”   —from the essay “Miracles”  (1943)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—The arts as fundamental

The idea that a work of art is something to be used as an embellishment and its possession is the mark of a cultured person (provided the work of art is in style) and nothing else, is the mark of decay in European society.
“The fact of the matter is that the arts are as fundamental to the material life of man as the sacraments are to his spiritual.  As the sacraments fail, so do the arts.”  (1943)

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Still Life with Banana, c. 1975, oil on canvas, 18 x 15 in.