Today on Perspectives, the Holy See Press Office announces that Pope Francis will name new Cardinals, bishops in the US condemn CIA torture practices and a look ahead at what’s coming up on Salt + Light.
Always vary what you do, as it is better to make a mistake than to repeat yourself.
Michelangelo drew incessantly. Throughout his 77 year career he produced thousands of quick sketches and more detailed drawings. His finished works were so highly prized that it often created a buzz in Rome when it was made known he had finished a new piece – even the Popes were known to have sought after new works. However, contrary to what one might think, drawing for Michelangelo was not an end in itself; it was a simply a “tool of the trade.”
Studies for the head of Leda, c. 1630
Michelangelo was first and foremost a sculptor and drawing was how his imagination found creative expression. As one of his contemporaries put it: “It is easier to change things in drawings than in finished works”. And this was particularly true for Michelangelo whose drawings were often a preliminary study before sculpting in marble – an expensive and delicate process. As such Michelangelo guarded his drawings jealously, and shortly before his death tossed many in the fire to prevent others from stealing his ideas. Today only 600 of these precious works exist.
Study for Christ in Limbo, c. 1532-1533
These remnants offer a revealing portrait of the inner workings of Michelangelo’s mind. As you can virtually see Il Divino (“the Divine One”) attempt to memorize forms, to experiment and to brainstorm. So even though Michelangelo never intended you to see his drawings the Art Galley of Ontario’s latest exhibit, Michelangelo: Quest for Genius which features 30 rare drawings on loan from the Casa Buonarroti, offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness genius at work.
Tonight on Perspectives: Pope Francis says that there is no room in the Church for a worldly mentality, especially among bishops.
I once had a teacher who knew exactly how to keep her students focused during the day. She promised us that if we were very good, she would read us a few pages from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. She would only have to give the gentlest reminder that we would not have time for The Hobbit and there would be a swift end to our cavorting and carrying-on. As you can imagine, she had us eating out of her hand.
My love for a great story has continued, and I’ve found that the best stories are always those “based on a true story.” At Salt + Light we have a storytelling ritual, you could say, and Fr. Thomas Rosica is one of the best storytellers I know. Whenever Fr. Rosica returns to the office from a trip, he gathers everyone to celebrate Mass, and following that it’s time for our meeting around the conference table. After we have prayed and he has given us all a little token from his travels -usually a prayer card, a spiritual booklet, or some chocolates- he settles down to tell us about everything that happened. As I said, Fr. Tom Rosica is a masterful storyteller. By the time the meeting has concluded, we feel as if we have lived through it all – the highs and the lows: the lost luggage, the inevitable poor internet connection fiascos, the exceptional encounters, the developments and the messages of encouragement.
My favourite stories, however, are the ones where he tells us of his encounters with Pope John Paul II. These stories are an incredible source of insight. Sure, there’s something to be learned from reading great encyclicals, but to know a person firsthand and to get a sense of who he was and why he did what he did – this can only be imparted through personal experience; anything else simply doesn’t have the same impact. Moreover, Fr. Rosica’s stories are always full of meaning. Significant dates in history have moods and feelings attached to them, and there’s always a deep sense of what these things mean for us and for the world. As a scripture scholar, Fr. Rosica’s biblical imagination imbues his commentary on events with a profound love of scriptural images and also a great sense of humour.
Not everyone has the opportunity to listen to these stories firsthand, but you will certainly feel as if you are sitting around the Salt + Light conference table when you pick up the new release John Paul II, A Saint for Canada. It’s a short book that can be read at a leisurely pace in a few hours. Filled with Fr. Rosica’s personal reflections on Pope John Paul II, John Paul II, A Saint for Canada is a delight that will leave you with a deep appreciation for this saint and what he means for us in Canada.
To get a taste of what you can expect, you’re invited to watch our latest Catholic FOCUS featuring John Paul II.
Photo description: Father Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, is pictured reading in a kayak in this photo dated from 1955. Three years later, he was on the water with friends when he learned he had been called to Warsaw for the announcement that he was to be made a bishop. He was canonized on April 27 with Pope John XXIII. (CNS photo)
Pope John Paul II was in many respects a pope of firsts: the first pope to visit the White House, the first pope to visit Cuba, and the most widely traveled Pope in history. As one of the longest reigning popes in the history of the Church, his influence will be felt for generations. Join host Cheridan Sanders as she speaks with Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB about the life and times of Saint Pope John Paul II in this episode of Catholic Focus.
Pope Paul VI is carried on the “sedia gestatoria,” a ceremonial throne, during the closing liturgy of the Second Vatican Council in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Dec. 8,1965. Pope Francis will beatify Pope Paul today on Oct. 19 during the closing Mass of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. The miracle needed for Pope Paul’s beatification involved the birth of a healthy baby to a mother in California after doctors had said both lives were at risk. (CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo)
Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras attend a prayer service in Jerusalem in January 1964. (CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo)
Pope Paul VI offers a blessing at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport before boarding a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, in 1967.
This weekend we’ll celebrate the conclusion of the 2014 Synod on the Family and the beatification of the Pope Paul VI. The Church that we know today is deeply shaped by the Second Vatican Council and is in many ways a reflection of Paul VI’s pontificate. Watch this short video tribute to the ‘Pilgrim Pope’ to learn about his pontificate.
Tonight on Inside the Synod – Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila share their experiences and provide context as bishops prepare the final summary document for the Synod on the Family.