So, you may ask: this blog is a Catholic blog, on the Catholic Channel at Patheos. There’s some Catholic content, but there’s also a bunch about fiction, writing, popular music, and general foolishness. What’s up with that? How come this blog isn’t all Catholic all of the time?
And I answer that, on the contrary, it is.
Thomas Aquinas teaches us that love is naturally expressive of itself, and so with God: the universe around us, and everything in it, is an expression of God’s love. And what God has to communicate is simply God Himself, and so everything in the world about us speaks to us of God, speaks (as Thomas would say) of one God’s perfections. Not perfectly, mind you—God is infinite, unbounded, and matter is finite. Not perfectly, but truly. Even the solidity of the smallest pebble speaks of the steadfastness of God, and everything that is, merely by being what it is, sings a hymn of glory to God.
And so, simply as a matter of fact, to speak of what is is to speak of God. And that brings the entire universe into the Catholic field of view.
And then there’s us. You and me. Of all creations of matter, men and women stand at the pinnacle. Don’t listen to the liars who claim we are merely animals. Animals we are, but not merely. By no means merely. Nothing else in creation can say, “God created me in His image.”
Alone among the animals we have the ability to create works of art, to compose music and make movies and write stories. It was this ability to create that J.R.R. Tolkien saw as the way in which we most closely resemble our Maker. We cannot create out of nothing, as He does, but we can create entire fictional worlds out of next to nothing. Next to nothing…but not nothing. For story is His as well.
All creation by being what it is sings praise to God…except sometimes us. Alone among all of creation, we can choose: to praise, or to withhold our praise. But even when we choose to withhold our praise, our creations speak of the Glory of God. There is dross, and mire, and dirt, but the gold shines through. It takes a lifetime, ill-spent, to wear it all away; and even then the smallest speck might be polished back into life. And when we our gone, if our works remain, and are loved, it is because those who love them are loving the reflections of God in them.
So…. Writing. Books. Music. Movies. Art. There you go.