In a 1999 Easter Sunday Letter to Artists, St. John Paul II highlights one of the gifts the artist brings for us: “Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence.”
Dr. Taylor has a passion for Modern Art. His passion and the inspiration of this inauguration day served as the foundation for this homily.
“Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence.” In Genesis, God is first revealed as creator, the Divine Artist separating light and dark with the highpoint of His creative love being the formation of man and woman in His image and likeness. The love and respect we extend to one another and our contemplation of the beauty in nature are an acknowledgement of the self-reflection placed within by the Divine Artist.
Today’s readings truly highlight for us that which is at the core of our Cabrini legacy: the value of each person, a respect for nature lived in charity and justice – which we can say function as the two feet of the Christian life journey during which we strive to recognize and acknowledge the beauty of God in the other and nature.
The first reading clearly articulates the Divine expectation of how we are called to treat one another. The author of Exodus inspired by the God who loves us first uses that reality to remind us: we are each called to treat others as God has, does, and will treat us – as valuable – as beautiful because we are created in God’s image and likeness.
The human artist, reflecting God the Divine Artist invites us to grow in our awareness of beauty through reflection and contemplation. Great Art invites us to heightened awareness, rather than just a passing glance of admiration.
Edda Livingston in her Letter to a Modern Artist quotes the great Russian thinker Peter D. Ouspensky: “The artist must be a clairvoyant; he must see that which others do not see; he must be a magician: must possess the power to make others see that which they do not see themselves, but which he does see.” Today, I can hear a connection between Ouspensky’s words about the artist applying to a leader, applying to Dr. Taylor. The leader is called to be a clairvoyant, a magician, called to put vision at the service of the community.
Dr. Taylor, has been called to use his gifts, talents, and passion – given by God – to bring us to a heightened awareness of the beauty in this community… To help the Cabrini Community see itself as you see us … and lead us forward in accord with God’s plan.
“Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence.” Jesus articulates for us the beauty of God’s loving plan of salvation in His summary statement worded so succinctly in today’s Gospel: love of God – love of neighbor. Fidelity to this Gospel command becomes the foundation for the many Holy men and women of faith who serve as sources of inspiration for us – Mother Cabrini included.
She lived a life of action, clearly motivated by these Gospel words. We are called to advance her legacy by discovering the beauty in these words of our Savior and allowing them to become our foundation for a life of Gospel action.
“Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence.” … And the highest moment of beauty is the discovery of God’s image and likeness inside us and the other … which propels us to fulfill the Gospel virtues we hear today … to be people who love God and love our neighbor.
Dr. Taylor, may God shower His blessings upon you and all who serve with you to advance the legacy of Mother Cabrini as followers of Christ.
Submitted by: Sharon Shipley Zubricky ‘76