A few months ago, I invited to participate in a new virtual community: CLE Catholic Creatives. It’s a group of local young adult “artists” who want to foster faith and creativity in the life of the Church. I truly am growing to love and feel at home in this little community of uniquely talented, faithful young people. They challenge me to get more in touch with my right brained self!
Through this group, I learned of Pope John Paul’s Letter to Artists, which was published during the Easter season in 1999.
The essence of the letter was that the world needs beauty, beauty is our vocation, and that we are called to share in God’s creative power and be “co-creators.” It described the Holy Spirit as the “Mysterious Artist” of the universe whose breath inspires and draws forth creative life.
What an image of the Spirit as we approach Pentecost. The Divine Artist breathing mysterious, creative life into the world and our lives.
If you’ve ever felt awed by a piece of art, photography, poetry, writing, music, or architecture that pointed to God’s truth and beauty, you have felt that creative life -- that transcendent experience of the Divine led by the Spirit. If you’ve ever felt the spark of a creative idea to create something to reveal God’s truth and beauty -- that too is being led by the Spirit in divine creative energy.
In the stillness and quiet of life now, more than in the past, I am seeing more of that beauty. I feel sparked to creative outlets like cooking, painting, writing, photography, design, and music -- and to art prayer. I feel stirrings to explore this side of myself more, to lean into what God wants to create through me, and what He wants to reveal about Himself and His teachings through art.
Coincidentally, it seems like now more than ever, we need to see and experience beauty. We need life-giving music, art, sculpture, photography, and so many other forms of art to inspire us, lift us up, and draw us closer to the Lord.
Not only that, but creativity keeps us creating and purposeful which is so necessary in these times. As humans, we were made to create, just like our Creator. It also continues to help keep our faith sensory in a time when we are far from its tangible elements, by appealing to the senses in different ways. There’s even studies that show creativity as a terrific way to stay positive and happy; without it, we can become negative.
So consider exploring your own creativity for the glory of God, regardless of your level of talent. What beauty in art forms is speaking to you these days? What do you feel sparked to create? How does God want you to reveal His beauty and inspire the faithful?
Let the Holy Spirit, the Divine Artist, guide your hands as you create and give glory to God.