Thursday, June 09, 2005

Praying for Artists

Penn & Teller's attack on Mother Teresa was covered by a number of Catholic bloggers a couple of weeks back. What I didn't hear many people saying is that we should all be praying for Penn & Teller. Maybe I'm more sensitive to this than I should be, because I've long enjoyed P&T's work. Whatever the reason, though, I do think Catholics should be praying for them. If not because it's a shame for anyone to be lost to a materialistic worldview, then because they are talented performers who promote that worldview, encouraging others to think that way. And if not for that reason, then because Penn just became a father, and that little girl is going to grow up being taught that Mother Teresa and her nuns are "f***ing c***s".

Of course, it shouldn't stop at P&T. I've long thought that, considering the power of writers and artists (including visual artists, actors, musicians, filmmakers, etc.) to influence thought, Catholics should be praying for all of them. So far I've spent more time thinking I should do it, than actually doing it. Mea culpa.

Here's a non-denominational Christian group who make it their job to pray for people in Hollywood:
I'm not much of a joiner myself, but it seems like an okay group; I'm glad to know there are people out there praying for people in the entertainment industry.

As for me, I am going to do my best to remember to pray for writers and artists more often. I owe so much of the richness in my experience to artists from the past--not just Catholics or those who lived in predominantly Catholic cultures, but others who sought Truth and Beauty in their work. I'm going to pray that more artists today seek Truth and express it in their work.

I hope there are saints praying for this too. During my conversion I was inspired and gladdened by PJPII's Letter to Artists--really, can you imagine Jerry Falwell writing that?--and right now I am imagining John Paul the Great in heaven praying for artists on earth. With Chesterton. Maybe Flannery O'Connor and Shakespeare are there too, praying with Michelangelo and Fra Angelico? Along with St. Luke and St. John, and untold numbers of others.

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