Musings on the Internet

Curiositas” is an inordinate desire to know, to see, to experience what is not rightly within one’s legitimate needs or within the proper boundaries of one’s vocation. Which brings to mind the power of the internet’s practically infinite (and practically instantaneous) capacity to fill the appetite of curiositas. The internet is a tool made by and used by human beings, and it is one of the most powerful ever invented. Though the analogy is imperfect, we might say that it is similar to atomic power. Morally neutral, it can light up homes or make apocalyptic landscapes. So too, the net can illumine minds or it can darken them even as it bestows with extraordinary force the sensations of light. Atomic fusion(fission) must be contained, which is another way of saying it must function in its right place, in proper proportion if it is to assist creation and not unleash destruction. So, too, the net. But how?

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The Decline and Renewal of Christian Art

From an article published in the August/September, 1994, issue of Second Spring, a journal of faith and culture.

The Church is not indifferent to the arts and in a multitude of ways has expressed her concern for the renewal of culture in society and a rediscovery of the sacred in religious culture. In 1974, the Vatican Collection of Modern Religious Art opened with a dazzling display of 600 works of twentieth century religious art, a collection which continues to expand. Pope Paul VI inaugurated the exhibit with an address to an international group of artists, reassuring them that, “It is not true that only a determined criteria of the art of the past has free and exclusive entrance here. It is not true that the dominant criteria of contemporary art are madness, passion, purely cerebral and arbitrary abstraction.”

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