Catholic Culture at its Best!

I saw the following announcement in Mark Shea’s blog about the new issue of Dappled Things. If you haven’t checked out this magazine yet, it’s about time you do. If you want some Catholic culture, this is were it’s at. He quotes an e-mail sent to him by the magazine’s publisher:

With all the pied beauty of fall leaves upon the still-green grass, comes the “Mary, Queen of Angels 2007” edition of Dappled Things, now available online. The new issue is brimming over with wonderful essays, stories, poems, and works of art by talented young writers and artists working within the Catholic tradition.

Herewith a sampling of the marvelous pieces you will find in our “Mary,Queen of Angels 2007” edition:

Dom Antoine Forgeot, the abbot of Notre Dame de Fontgombault, greeted me upon my arrival at the monastery by pouring water on my hands before the evening meal, welcoming me as if I were Christ. Fontgombault, founded in the eleventh century, has had an immense influence on the religious life ofFrance and the United States since its reestablishment in 1948 by the Benedictines of Solesmes, and it is now an important center of Gregorian chant. For several days this past summer I received the hospitality of the monks, attending the singing of the Divine Office and participating in the solemn conventual Mass chanted each day according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII—a form of the Mass also known as the usus antiquior or the Tridentine Mass.

  • The main character in Eve Tushnet’s “Distortions” struggles with questions as applicable to a distopian world as to our own:

And that’s how my thing is all over. Crumpled up, crippled. Like a glob with deep wrinkles, almost folds or fissures, covered with lanugo, and a thing like a face on one end. You can definitely see the noseholes and the mouth,and you can tell where the eyes should be, but either they aren’t there or they’re gummed shut. I’m not really interested in that part; what I’m supposed to be investigating are the flippers and the wings. I don’t like these ones, the very large malformations. They’re part of the reason I want to move into a more administrative or research-design position, rather than directly carrying out the work.

I found the girl on the street, as one does. Down by the Danube. I glanced into the ugly green depths of the river and thought of filth. And then I looked up and saw her. A miserable object, but well suited to my purpose. Blonde, with straggling hair, and small, dull eyes. Rather like that girl in Vienna. Do you remember her? She wept when we left, but I think it was because she had wanted more money.

Death, War, Famine
and the other member of the band
(you know the one, his name escapes me)
Will run amok in Camden market
And overturn three stalls of leather goods
And upset some arrangements
Of ersatz Gucci handbags.

Secular governing bodies have their particular roles in the temporal sphere. But they cannot substitute the work of the Church, who addresses the needs of the whole person, including the ultimate transcendent need. It is an impoverishment for Catholic charitable organizations to discount or deny their spiritual ministry.

  • Our featured article for this issue explores the nature of art and beauty through the work of 20th century Catholic painter Carl Schmitt in a profound essay written by his son, historian Carl Schmitt, Jr.:

Artistic beauty is only possible because of the Incarnation. In this world,we cannot see God’s supreme beauty: We can only find our way to it throughthe light of faith. Through the Incarnation, we may now experience God inthis world through our own discovery of the beauty in people and things.

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