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“Architects and painters, sculptors and musicians, filmmakers and writers, photographers and poets, artists of every discipline, are called to shine beauty especially where darkness or gray dominates everyday life,” Pope Francis wrote in a message for the annual meeting of the Pontifical Academies.
This month, the Holy Father has asked us to join him in prayer for the artists of the world. Through their ingenuity, they transform the world around us into a more beautiful place. Their art, in all of its forms, transforms the experience of those who encounter it, and communicates a narrative capable of inspiring hope.
In Laudato Si, the Holy Father mentions the fundamental, universal experience of beauty for all humanity. We all share in the ability to recognise, and appreciate beauty, which makes it both powerful and transformative. God dwells in all of our experiences, and is reflected in the beauty of creation.
As I pray for the artists of the world this month, I will pray for an open heart and mind to the beautiful things and their creators in my world. I hope to deepen my appreciation for art; which means turning my attention away from everything else that occupies it – that doesn’t bring life, hope and beauty.
This appreciation is the first step towards supporting artists in a world that is quick to dismiss beauty, and instead praise value for money. Let us remember that it is beauty that has the ability to bring hope, and inspire beautiful dreams. When artists create something beautiful, they are responding to God’s call to love the world. God bless the artists of the world.
- Patrick Furlong
Ignatian Formation Coordinator
The Cardoner Project
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Australia)