Thank you for this Lawrence. I always struggle with what I call the Beethoven question, which is, Would it have been better for Beethoven to feed the poor rather than write symphonies? Or, from the other side: Is the duty to use one's talents as an artist a more important use of one's time and energy than to serve human needs? Jesus did talk about serving the poor, and he didn't really talk about art... Sometimes I feel as though I can't really serve anyone very well unless I am using the art that I have been given to use. But other times, when I have had a whole day to paint for example, I wonder if it would have been better to use that day & go out and visit the sick and feed the hungry.
This is really great, Deacon Lawrence! I hope you don't mind I've kept a copy for myself. The part about the artistic temperament was very good/helpful.Vicki - I know you weren't asking me so disregard this if you want. I often think the same thing you do after a day of painting, but the truth is that it doesn't ultimately prevent us from helping and feeding the poor no more than someone who has another job that occupies his/her time. I'm sure you've heard all of this before so I won't bore you with a broken record :) but man does not live by bread alone and religious art is particularly inspiring! Even "nonreligious" art flows from the Beauty which is God so don't be dismayed. Do what you can when you can! We don't do one or the other - we do both and that's what is beautiful. :)
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