Daily Archives: December 18, 2020

More on the 2020 Vatican Nativity

I majored in Art History, so Joseph Shaw’s article at LifeSite News caught my attention and I think it is worth reading and pondering.

This year, the annual tradition of the large-scale Nativity scene in St Peter’s Square descended into farce when the figures were revealed as childish and hideous products of artistic modernism. The figures were produced over the course of about a decade starting in 1965 and are reminiscent of the mediocre art of that time. One of the figures visiting the crib is an astronaut; others are unrecognizable. There is an angel represented as a bizarre, tower-like object with meaningless rings round it.

There are a great many reasons why this collection of objects is unsuitable for display as the Vatican’s Nativity scene. I leave it to art historians to decide whether it has sufficient historical importance to gather dust in a provincial museum somewhere. If it were not the season of goodwill, I might suggest it be crushed and used for road-building. But the simple and overwhelming point to make about it is that while it might claim to be religious art — art inspired by religious themes or values, or representing a scene with religious significance — it cannot possibly be described as devotional art.

The failure to distinguish these two categories is to blame for a lot of entirely inappropriate art in our churches. Consider the images showing the Stations of the Cross. These are designed to assist the user (and, yes, devotional art is used), to enter imaginatively into the scenes of Christ’s sufferings. This assistance to the imagination is the role of all devotional depictions of scenes. To do this effectively, it needs at least to be representational, and not, for example, abstract.

Again, devotional images of Christ and the saints have the role of focusing the attention in prayer, because that is what they are for: they are designed to be the focus of prayer. In order to do this they must themselves honor the person represented, who is being venerated, and bring out figure’s holiness. The Roman soldiers and some of the bystanders in the Stations of the Cross may be ugly brutes, but even a painting of a saint who was a leper, like St. Damian of Molokai, should bring out his inner beauty and not exaggerate his disfigurement.

The reason is not only that a beautiful image will hold our attention, and a repulsive image, obviously, repel it, but because sanctity and beauty are connected. However we define beauty, a beautiful thing is one that is not disordered, whose features are not out of proportion or out of place, and this is naturally attractive to us. God is beautiful because He is supremely well ordered. The saints become beautiful as they grow in holiness. Physical beauty is therefore a fitting artistic symbol of spiritual beauty. The innocence of children, and the serenity of old people who are at peace with God, are in real life outward signs of the inner person, even if such signs are fallible. Evil makes even naturally beautiful people ugly, in time: eventually one can see cruelty, sensuality, and egoism etched in the face.

A Nativity scene has a particularly delicate devotional role, because it is a scene for meditation, like the Stations of the Cross or a depiction of a martyrdom, and at the same time, the individual major figures are devotional images of Christ and the saints, which will be the focus of prayer in a way the figures in the Stations are much less often. Unlike the stations or a painting of some other complex religious scene, a Nativity scene in a church will be blessed, have candles lit in front of it, and be the focus of a great deal of individual prayer over the months of its display. More, perhaps, should be done to make these as grand, beautiful, and devotionally compelling and appropriate as possible than usually is done.

Not only is the Vatican Nativity scene a complete failure as a piece of devotional art — it would obviously be difficult to pray in front of it, and I doubt that many people will try — but its style is a deliberate rejection of beauty in art. It is the product of the movement popularized (if that is the right word) in the 1960s, which says art should be not about beauty, but about the artist’s existential despair or something of the kind.

The late Roger Scruton, a philosopher of art, asked of this movement:

Why should people want to desecrate the human form and the ordinary ideals of human life? And I say, you only desecrate what is sacred. Only something sacred can be desecrated. So there’s this cry from the heart here for the religious meaning of things. It’s showing the yearning for God and the sense that these things make no sense without him.

This artistic movement is a reflection of a world without God, and the despair the artist feels as a result. A more inappropriate medium for expressing the message that God is born in Bethlehem is impossible to imagine.

1 Comment

Filed under Loose Pollen

Pray for Doctor Shiva Ayyurdai

He has passed the first hurdle in his claim that election fraud via Dominion Voting Systems stole his chance to become a State Senator in Massachusetts.

Dr. Ayyurdai is going to get his day in court, where he will be able to present the evidence he has collected – documentary, eye witness and statistical – showing that Dominion Voting Systems machines were used to commit election fraud.

Here are two brief videos:

CLICK https://twitter.com/michaelbeatty3/status/1333529310930485249 [1:43] to hear his credentials as he presented them at the Arizona hearing. The man is absolutely brilliant. He holds four degrees from M.I.T and is a scientist-technologist, entrepreneur and educator, a Fulbright Scholar, Lemelson-MIT Awards Finalist and Westinghouse Science Talent Honors Award recipient. He even holds the first U.S. copyright for email.

CLICK https://twitter.com/TeamTrump/status/1333523364993003523 [1:19] to hear part of the testimony he presented in Arizona. In the full presentation, he demonstrated how the only way he could make Joe Biden’s sudden jump was to assume that he received 130% of all the Democrat votes while Trump received -30% of the Republican votes. This short clip is just the conclusion.

If you have 50 minutes, you can listen to this one from Gateway Pundit. This is WORTH YOUR TIME. [50:50]

In the next video, he explains how the weighted race feature was used to steal the Michigan election. [1:10:22]

Comments Off on Pray for Doctor Shiva Ayyurdai

Filed under Loose Pollen

Bits & Bytes

CARDINAL BURKE: On “The Great Reset”, a proposal by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to rebuild the economy sustainable. It was in place before the pandemic, just waiting for a reason to launch it. It’s the real reason behind all the absurd lockdowns, mask mandates, school and church closings, etc. It’s basically about the godless elite trying to take over the world and create a global feudal society in which they hold all the power and wealth while the rest of us beg for scraps at their table.

2020: CLICK https://twitter.com/dcexaminer/status/1339267028801134593 [1:25] to hear Sen. Rand Paul talk about what the Senate can do going forward. “We can’t just say, ‘It didn’t happen.’

CIVILITY: Every so often, Democrats wag their fingers at us about how we need to be more civil. The latest version is their self-serving call for “unity” and “healing.”

Since they’ve spent the last four years promoting and committing acts of political, legal, and physical violence against Republicans, I’m unimpressed, especially since they’re such obvious hypocrites.

The latest is Jen O’Malley Dillon, the person Joe Biden has picked for his deputy chief of staff. During an interview with Glamour magazine, she called Republicans “a bunch of f—ers.” Nice, Jen. Real nice.

FAILING UPWARD: Joe Biden’s preference for “climate czar” is Gina McCarthy, the former EPA director who didn’t warn the people of Flint, Michigan, that their water was contaminated with lead.

INDIA: The governments in certain areas of India are distributing the homeopathic drug Arsenicum Album, because they have found it greatly improves immunity against coronavirus. In addition, it is safe for anyone above the age of 12 months to take prophylactically. They recommend taking it for 3 days and then repeat in a month if the coronavirus infection is still in the community.

If you’re interested, you can buy an 80-pellet tube of Arsenicum Album (30C) at most health food stores or on-line for about $7. If you take 3 pellets 3 times a day for 3 days, a tube is more than enough to treat one person prophylactically for two months.

Hold the pellets under the tongue until they’re dissolved. They have a totally unobjectionable, slightly sweet taste.

Or go to Elixirs (URL below) and buy a bottle of 800 pellets for $23. Arsenicum Album is a good remedy to have on hand for a whole host of common ailments. Read about it at Homeopathy Plus (URL below).

MICHIGAN: On Tuesday, a joint session of the state’s House and Senate oversight committees voted to issue subpoenas to Detroit and the nearby suburb of Livonia demanding they surrender hard drives, emails, absentee voter counting board laptops and other election-related materials. One Senate Democrat reportedly joined his Republican colleagues in supporting the subpoenas.

SCOTUS: A group of Pennsylvania Republicans is calling for the nation’s highest court to consider their election-related lawsuit pertaining to the state of Pennsylvania.

Good luck with that, fellas. Lin Woods has revealed that, in August 2019, Chief Justice John Roberts told Justice Stephen Breyer he would make sure “the mother f#*ker would never be re-elected.

It sickens me that so many Americans who have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution are more than happy to shred it to get rid of a politician they don’t like.

WASHINGTON: Seattle – Liberals must keep all their opinions and talking points in separate, highly segregated portions of what passes for their brains. Otherwise, this kind of thing would cause them an uncomfortable degree of cognitive dissonance.

  • facebook.com/safeseattle.org/photos/a.130409483994628/1314842375551327/

WAY PAST DUE: Major League Baseball announced that it is adding statistics from the Negro Leagues to the official MLB records.

“All of us who love baseball have long known that the Negro Leagues produced many of our game’s best players, innovations, and triumphs against a backdrop of injustice,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “We are now grateful to count the players of the Negro Leagues where they belong: as Major Leaguers within the official historical record.”

Comments Off on Bits & Bytes

Filed under Loose Pollen