"Sublime Bibles in Stone", Pope Ponders Art in Middle Ages
(18 Nov 09 - RV) On Wednesday Pope Benedict XVI dedicated the catechesis of his general
audience to the Art of the Middle Ages, a period, noted Pope Benedict, when art and
architecture reached for the sublime, inspiring some of the greatest works of art
of all time: the cathedrals of Europe.:
cathedrals are distinctive for their size and for introducing to churches beautiful
sculpture, including the image of Christ as the Universal Judge and the Gate of Heaven.
By entering through Him, as it were, the faithful enter a space and even a time different
from everyday life, somewhere they can anticipate eternal life through their participation
in the liturgy”.
The monumental Romanesque was gradually replaced by the
soaring heights of Gothic vaults. The Gothic cathedral observed Pope Benedict translates
the aspirations of the soul into architectural lines, and is a synthesis between faith,
art and beauty which still raises our hearts and minds to God today.
faith encounters art, in particular in the liturgy, a profound synthesis is created,
making visible the Invisible, and the two great architectural styles of the Middle
Ages demonstrate how beauty is a powerful means to draw us closer to the Mystery of
God”. Pope Benedict XVI underlined two elements of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
Firstly that these "masterpieces are incomprehensible without taking into account
the religious soul that inspired them." "An artist, Marc Chagall once wrote that painters
for centuries have dipped their paintbrush in that colour of the Bible". "When faith
- said the Pope - particularly when it is celebrated in the liturgy, encounters art,
it creates a profound harmony, because both can and want to talk about God, making
the invisible visible". Pope Benedict’s reflections on one of the most prolific
periods in the history of the collaboration between faith and art comes but a few
days before his scheduled meeting with over 200 artists here in the Vatican. A meeting
convoked by the Pope in the footsteps of Paul VI, to give new impetuous to dialogue
between faith, art and beauty.
“May the Lord help us to rediscover that “way
of beauty”, surely one of the best ways to know and to love Almighty God”.