At the beginning of this week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Fall Open House at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. I’ve been to Open House before (more times than I care to admit!), but this time there was the addition of a class to the visitors’ schedule; the Way of Beauty programme.
Held in the newly updated Art Room under the Library building, the Way of Beauty introduces students to perceiving truth, goodness, and beauty through art in a way that is profoundly Catholic in its presentation and content. It recognises the need for sanctity and truth in art, and presents that through classical masterpieces and writings.
While we visitors were there in the Art Room, we read an essay by Josef Pieper, entitled ‘Only the Lover Sings: Art and Contemplation.’ This essay expresses in a clear and concise manner one of the most prevalent issues of our time; namely, the inability to notice and appreciate the details of everyday life.
The writer of the essay notes that “man’s ability to see is in decline.” He does not mean, however, that our sight is becoming increasingly poorer (although that may also be true, noted one of the teachers wryly) but that there is too much to be seen for us to actually perceive even a half of it.
Most average people are far too caught up in the ever-updating world of technology to see the glory of creation, and in that the sub-creation of art. The Way of Beauty brings students on a journey of discovery, not only of self, but of the wonder of the natural world. Only by being introduced to truth by literature, art, and philosophy can we hope to have even a slight grasp of the awe-inspiring gifts that God has granted us.
Read more about Thomas More College at: www.thomasmorecollege.edu