Links about art critic Elizabeth Lev, writers John Cheever, Georges Bernanos, and Ron Hansen.
Ben Conroy at the Catholic Herald interviews Elizabeth Lev, daughter of Mary Ann Glyndon, former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. [To view, you need to set up a free account that gives access to four articles a month.]
Lev is an art historian specialising in the Baroque and High Renaissance periods, with a focus on Christian sacred art. A US expat in Italy, she teaches at the Roman campus of Duquesne Catholic University, and is a consultant at the Vatican Museums. Her most recent book, How Catholic Art Saved the Faith, concludes with a plea for Catholics to display more sacred art in their homes.
“‘The key to creating more excellent Catholic art is . . . creating structures that will reward them for excellence.
“”If there was an award for Catholic Artist of the Year, and you had the Herald and the National Catholic Register and all the Catholic publications holding that person up … that’s already a start.'”
Matthew Schmitz at First Things writes:
Readers of John Cheever’s stories, most of which appeared in the New Yorker before being collected in a Pulitzer-winning book in 1978, regarded the author as ‘the Ovid of Ossining,’ the artist who showed the riches and wonders of suburban life. …It was something of a shock, then, when Cheever’s journals were published in 1991. . . . But perhaps the greatest surprise was Cheever’s deep religious feeling.”
Dr. Tod Worner at Word on Fire Blog writes:
The Diary of a Country Priest has changed me because it is so damned honest. The reality of suffering is to be accepted (ameliorated, yes, but accepted as a part of life) and countered with courage and faith in the mysteries and unfailing grace of God. In sum, Bernanos’ harsh honesty has forced me to be a bit more honest about how I am to live.”
Ron Hansen at Image Journal writes about the influences that made him a writer.
Consider that famous Gospel statement in John 3:16. In the King James Bible it reads: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’
“Consider that opening phrase: ‘For God so loved the world.’ There are aspects of our world that we can repudiate and even despise, but our foremost commitment as people of faith is to find and give description to those aspects of his creation that God so loves.”