Apse of San Clemente, Rome, Italy

Worship transforms our sense of sight not because it changes the way we physically see but more so because it changes the way we interpret and internalize the image in front of us. Something that we seem to take for granted when discussing worship and the arts is a prior familiarity with and openness to the faith being channeled through the particular work. Imagine someone who has never heard of Jesus Christ walking into San Clemente in Rome and looking at the apse. The glorified image of a man on a cross by no means immediately draws his heart and…

According to Romano Guardini, Liturgy is fundamentally tied to truth; that is, liturgy is truth expressed as prayer, and prayer is a form of poetry intentionally used to worship, acknowledge, and interact with God. The intentionality of liturgy is in the heart of the worshiper rather than the purpose of the rite, however. Liturgy, like art, has no purpose outside of its own existence as a creation of its creator. The human worshipers must learn to be like art during liturgy by having no immediate purpose other than being at the disposal of God’s will and God’s imaginings. …

  1. Art is to humanity just as creation is to God. Both are fully rooted in beauty and both are the consequence of God’s love. Since the artist is part of God’s creation, all beauty created by the artist comes from the direct representation of God within the work. As Gerardus van der Leeuw asserts, seeing art solely as a reflection of the observer, or even the superficial aspects of the artist, misses the point, and so overlooks the beauty. Beauty through art is a channel through which mankind can see more of the image of God that is within humanity.

When I was little, I was terrified of going into my older brother’s bedroom. It had nothing to do with his threats about touching his things, but instead the artwork that this elementary school child chose to hang on his wall. Thanks to a project in his fourth grade Art class, my brother became obsessed with Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist of the artist’s Blue Period. He got a framed copy of the painting and hung it on his wall above the spare bed in his room which I would sleep in whenever we had guests spend the night. This…

Sarah Herbers

I am a current junior studying Applied Math and Italian at the University of Notre Dame.

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