Weekend 565.0

(1) April 2023: The Boulevard Montmartre at Night (The National Gallery)

(2) Benedict XVI and the History of Art (The Imaginative Conservative)

“…no art of any real value, either sacred or profane, can come from such isolated and alienated subjectivity. Ultimately the beautiful is inseparable from the good and the true. If we will not have virtue and verity, caritas and claritas, we will not have beauty either. The truth does not only set us free, it also enables us to see; without it, we will not behold the beauty of the cosmos as made manifest in the music of the spheres; we will see nothing but mere matter.”

Weekend 562.0

(1) A Role Model for Bishops (The Catholic Thing)

“Although our situation is still much better than that of Christians in Syria, Iraq, and many other parts of the world, it is fast deteriorating. For that reason, it is so important for bishops today to study the example of St. Thomas Becket and so many other martyrs, many of them members of the episcopacy. For the faithful Christian, the best always lies ahead, since heaven awaits us.”

Weekend 561.1

(1) The English Way (The Imaginative Conservative)

“One of my favorite current Christian Humanists, Canadian Michael O’Brien, has argued in his own masterful novel, Sophia House, that every book that enters the world is akin to the human soul. Some do well, some do ill, and many—simply through the beauty of creation—reflects bits and pieces of divine grace. In essence, when art, a book might very well magnify the Lord.”

Weekend 560.2 (pro Ecclesia contra mundum)

Excerpt from “Benedict XVI and the Call to Holiness” by Joseph Pearce

The spirit of worldliness within the Church, which is made manifest in modernism, can only be countered by a spirit of other-worldliness, a spirit of sanctity. “Saints … reformed the Church … by reforming themselves,” Benedict reminds us. “What the Church needs in order to respond to the needs of man in every age is holiness….” The Church does not need modernists calling for the power of the people, she needs saints, the true people of God who live and love in communion with the Mystical Body of Christ.

And so we return to where we started. It’s all about the battle between good and evil. As Pope Benedict reminds us, the Church doesn’t need programs, or committees, or bureaucracy; she needs saints. “The Church, I shall never tire of repeating it, needs saints more than functionaries.”

Weekend 560.0 (Music-Drama Vinyl Saturday)

Pelléas and Mélisande

“Phonographic editions of this masterpiece are going to help make perceptible to a greatly broadened public those elementary truths that even many naïve and badly informed music-lovers do not yet suspect. Bu making this work of the theatre penetrate into the intimacy of the home, the long-playing record is once again going to fulfill its noble mission, which consists of dissipating misunderstandings, enlightening consciousness, and even sometimes correcting miscarriages of justice…”

This is absolutely beautiful prose.

“…the shades of the lime-tree and the rose in the darkness—these were living forces which made all nature participate in the action. This magic fusion of the visible and the invisible created an irresistible fascination that tyrannically seized on sensibilities tuned to this pitch.”

“Not very sociable, but dreamy and meditative, he had always surprised his companions—who had nicknamed him the Prince of Darkness—by his flashing harmonic discoveries and his obstinate non-conformism.”

Source: Émile Vuillermoz

After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art | Exhibitions | National Gallery, London
Debussy plays Debussy | Clair de Lune (1913) (YouTube)
Frog-shaped memento which belonged to Claude Debussy (1862-1918) (Bridgeman Art Library)
Claude Debussy composed only in the company of his childhood porcelain frog (CSM)