"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tell them you have a new project. It will never be finished.

Yesterday I found much encouragement and inspiration from Michael O'Brien's recent letter to artists, which made me aware of how much time I have squandered through worldly cares and self-indulgence, not discounting all of the time wasted online.
Go to the very source. Go to Christ and ask for all that you need, ask for growth in skill, for the spirit of perseverance, for faith and courage and love. Ask for a spirit of discernment in order to find your way through the fog of our times. Ask for humility and faithfulness, and for the ability to incarnate Truth in beautiful forms. Be a servant of the One who is the source of all Beauty. Be his beloved. Be very little, and trust in this absolutely.
Avoid at all costs anything in your thoughts or impulses that tends in the direction of ambition (even disguised as ambition “for the sake of God’s kingdom”), self-promotion, manipulation, climbing the ladder of success. “Success” in worldly terms may or may not be what God has in mind for your life, but He surely desires that we each be blessed with the only real success, which is to bear the fruit He desires us to bear. It is not your task to make it happen in worldly terms. It is your task to respond to grace and create works of art that will enrich and bless the lives of others. He will do the rest, according to his holy will.
I beg you, I beg you, I beg you not to bow before the spirit of this world, no matter how benevolently and reasonably it presents itself to you. Over the years I have watched so many gifted young people lose their gifts when they succumbed to the false success-failure scenario. Their intentions were good, but they did not understand the nature of this struggle. Far better to study the seasoned old masters in all the arts. Learn from them, humbly, obediently, submissively (sub-missio, within the mission). Read Dostoevsky and Bloy and Flannery O’Connor and Wendell Berry; listen to Rachmaninoff and Gorecki and Bach and Eric Genuis; see the films of Andrei Tarkovsky and Ermanno Olmi, gaze upon the icons of Andrei Rublev and the post-Renaissance epiphanies of painters like Rembrandt and Rouault. The list is inexhaustible. Go ahead, explore! Reconnect with the holy chain of being, with the flow of time’s continuity, find your own true position in the great unfolding drama. Be a success in God’s eyes. - An Open Letter to Fellow Artists


  1. +JMJ+

    Hi, Terry! =)

    I have an award for you over at my 'blog:


  2. The letter is beautiful.


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