The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Sarabite Manifesto

Life in Jesus Christ is the only real life simply put. All things are to lead us to Him and all things have their consumation in Him. But what does this mean? This is where the real problem begins, and this is the meaning of this little corner of the Internet.

In modern times, any clarity of truth has been tainted by the exigencies of ideology. This is because power in itself has replaced a real search for truth, goodness, and beauty in the modern world. Enough ink has been spent in order to show this. Modern man is very much broken, so Christianity itself is broken. God does not need religion, we do (the Latin etymology of the word means "to rejoin"). If, however, we bring to Christianity our own brokeness, our own selfishness, our own fears about needing an ideological pitchfork to keep the rest of the world at bay, we are only deifying the destructive crisis we are presently in.

Thus, we need to find a better way; a way that is beyond polemic and mutual exclusion. If we are too busy excommunicating everyone that comes into our path, it is only because we can no longer understand each other. There is something missing that all Christians used to understand, but now can no longer grasp. Of course, there is no certain way to know if this is true or not, but the Church has reached such a crisis point that we must try out this hypothesis. Everyone can see the sky and say that it is blue. We must be able to look at the Church and say that it is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. We must be able to look at the world, without fear, and say that God created it and that He loves it.

I therefore propose a quest for an aesthetic Christianity, a Christianity that admits doctrinal differences (but is not comfortable with them as differences) and seeks to find the presence of God here and now. If the Son is the Image of the Eternal Father, and the Church is Christ's Body, its soul is the Holy Spirit. The soul can only be known, according to scholasticism, through its acts. How is the Holy Spirit acting in the Church and the world? This is what I aim to find out, through the pursuit of the beautiful, the true and the good that I wish to share with you.

In this, all aspects of art, music, culture and politics will be considered. Christianity has its back against the wall, it has no choice but to go forward and fight. No part of the world is too good for us not to criticize it, and none is too bad that God cannot redeem it. We hope to be guided in this by the Holy Spirit and the immortal teachings of the Church.

The art, literature, and music examined on this blog will be highly eclectic, since if Christ is the Logos that unites the "logoi" of creation, His presence must be looked for even in the most unlikely of places. The politics will lean towards the left, since God in the Scriptures has a tendency not to side with the rich and powerful. We will also abide by the teachings of Holy Mother Church, but we will not hide our difficulties nor will we do cover-ups for cowardly prelates.

Above all, we do not seek definite answers. We are not on the barricades waving a flag. The only battle we have to wage is in ourselves, God has to take care of the rest. Christ has already won. It is only our task to wait things out until His victory becomes evident.

Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.

-Arturo Vasquez

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