Regina Coeli Report - June-July 2020: Religious Symbolism

How do symbols affect us? What is the purpose of art? We’ll address these questions along with picturesque examples.

Every art worthy of the name is a vehicle of a high and noble concepts for the spectator. Art is the best fruit of culture, but culture itself is the fruit of a developed society which has the leisure to produce artistic works. A work is artful when it expresses higher truths through material elements, like canvas or stone.

Applying this definition to religion, we can say that religious art brings man in touch with God through his senses. Man is body and soul and knows spiritual truths by the mediation of the senses. Man connects with the mysterious world of God through the window of art. Art is the divine touch dressed up in stone, sound, or paper.

We also get an integral experience of art in the Catholic liturgy. Think of the iconostasis with endless incensations by the mitered ministers of the Byzantine Rite. Recall attending a Pontifical Latin Mass in the decorum of an old cathedral, and you get the fullness of religious art: richly dressed ministers with perfectly choreographed movements; chant both old and polyphonic accompanied with a baroque organ; the stained-glassed windows and reredos; and the ornate chalice placed on the highly decorated altar.

All this expresses art as the ultimate human oblation to God. God deserves the best of what man can offer Him and religious art is a natural vehicle for it.

Inside this Issue:

  • Letter from the District Superior
  • Seeing Visions: Catholic Symbolism in Art
  • Christian Symbolism - Interview with Brother Marcel, SSPX
  • Pictures from the District