Friday, October 12, 2018

3 things Catholics should learn from the Met’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’ exhibit

By Father Raymond J. de Souza
Catholic religious garments on display during the press preview for the fashion exhibition ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’ at The Metropolitan Museum of Art May 7 in New York. (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)
“Heavenly Bodies” drew more visitors to the Met than any other exhibition in more than 40 years. I was one of them and I hope that there were many other priests and lay Catholic leaders on hand too, for the Church has three lessons to learn — or better, to remember — from the Met exhibition. The first “remembering” is of our own Tradition, which the Met exhibition made more visible than can usually be seen in great cathedrals or even the Vatican. The second “remembering” highlighted by the Met is that the Catholic Tradition ought to be enchanting. The third “remembering” offered by the Met was that beauty — both simple and ornate — is the Catholic Tradition, especially in the liturgy. The Church offers beauty not as an ancillary project, but as part of her essential mission. [More]