Telos Art & Design

NOVEMBER: All Saints' Day

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Up until this year, our family has not been proactive in learning about new saints. This year, in preparation for All Saints, we are encouraging our kids to research a saint, their story, feast day, prayers, etc. Then they will share about their saint with the family. In addition, we will be choosing a patron saint for the family at the beginning of the liturgical year. Slowly we are building an arsenal of saints to intercede for us!

write it down and plan ahead

For the individual saints, we will print out a family litany of our new saint friends. You can access a free digital download here: Family Litany of Saints worksheet.

After you have selected and researched the various saints, you might want to consider scheduling novenas with your "new friends" in advance. The website Pray More Novenas has an extensive list of upcoming novenas that you could add to your liturgical calendar. 

OCTOBER: Love

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October features both saints and angels who model virtuous love and charity. St. Thérèse of Lisieux (October 1) described her life as the "little way of spiritual childhood." Even though she is also known as The Little Flower with childlike faith, she knew that what mattered most "is not great deeds, but great love." A strong stubborness and big love fueled her unwavering devotion to God.

On October 2 we recognized our Guardian Angels. Each person on earth has a guardian angel who watches over him and helps him to attain his salvation (JGM, Matthew 18:10). St. Bernard encourages us to "be alert in your every action as one should be who is accompanied by angels in all your ways." And to "love God's angels with a most affectionate love; for they will be our heavenly co-heirs some day."

CRAFT: Inspired by the childlike faith of St. Thérèse, add to your peg doll nativity set by painting baby Jesus and build his manger. Emmaus Road Pegs offers monthly DIY sets to match our curriculum!

Quotable

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God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him. Whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.

BL. JOHN HENRY CARDINAL NEWMAN

Letter to Young (all) Artists

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Pope St. John Paul II had such a big heart for artists. If you haven't read his letter to young artists I recommend you do so! 

True art has a close affinity with the world of faith, so that, even in situations where culture and the Church are far apart, art remains a kind of bridge to religious experience...Even when they explore the darkest depths of the soul or the most unsettling aspects of evil, artists give voice in a way to the universal desire to redemption.

- POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II

My quest to design beautiful liturgical calendars was born out of the desire to promote contemporary Catholic/Christian artists. So many people wonder why religious art is so lacking these days. 

The root word of "patron" means "father". Without people fostering the arts, we cannot expect them to grow or even exist in the first place.

Recently I read an article about this lack of good, faithful art and the writer wrote something so convicting: There is a lack of good art, because there is a lack of patrons.

Back in the day, art was used to evangelize and reach those who did not have access to the scriptures or who were illiterate. It was a teaching tool. An opportunity to preserve historical events. And it was obvious to the patrons that beauty could reach the heart, soul, and mind of the viewer. In our current fast-paced, consumerist, throw-away culture, we no longer consider investing in these special heirlooms. We no longer value investing in beauty. And the generations to follow us will suffer the consequences. 

So, how can we turn the tide? Consider a few of these suggestions!

  1. Art as a means to build community: You can organize an art walk with your friends at your local galleries, museums, or parishes. 
  2. Invest in a love of art with your kids: Enroll your children in art classes during the summer or during school breaks. Talk to them about the art they see in church. 
  3. Surround yourself with beauty: Find artists you love and invest in their work for your home.
  4. Art as a means for evangelization: Original artwork on the walls is a amazing conversation starter, and a great way to evangelize to your friends. 
  5. Check out some of these faithful artists (and don't forget to share with your kids, too!): James Langley, Kristen Brown (The Saint Project), Juliette Aristides, Bernadette Carstensen, Solis Camerata, etc, etc...

Catholic Art Guild is another avenue to learn about and support Catholic artists. 

Man can live without science, he can live without bread, but without beauty he could no longer live, because there would no longer be anything to do to the world. The whole secret is here, the whole of history is here.

- FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY

A Blessing

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The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 

NUM 6:24-26

"This blessing was entrusted by God, through Moses, to Aaron and his sons, that is, to the priests of the people of Israel. It is a triple blessing filled with light, radiating from the repetition of the name of God, the Lord, and from the image of his face. In fact, in order to be blessed, we have to stand in God’s presence, take his Name upon us and REMAIN in the cone of light that issues from his Face, in a space lit up by his gaze, diffusing grace and peace." -- Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI