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Everyone Is an Artist

by Catherine Doherty

Art expresses our inner self. If you don’t create, you are not alive. There is no person living who cannot create—people only think they can’t. To do something with your hands as well as with your mind should be as natural as breathing. This is one of the forms of worship.

To restore all things to Christ is to restore man’s creative ability, to open the door to that creativity. Then art becomes a prayer.

We are not simply talking about fine art. We are talking about art as a gift from God.

I pray for the day when we realize that artistic creativity is not only painting, sculpture, writing, music, dance, or drama. It is also cooking, cleaning, laundry, carpentry. It is all the little things we do, in each of which we restore and make new.

For example, if you leave a glass pitcher dirty, you turn it into dirt. But if you wash and polish it well, it becomes what it should be—a crystal object that reflects the light, so that those who look may see that light and be uplifted. The pitcher is restored.

Or look at the windows. After a long winter, everyone knows they should be washed because they keep the light out. Whoever washes those windows contributes to the beauty of the house, and thus the art of the house, because that clean window now brings in the sun.

Think of all art as an expression of love, as another school of love, in which the whole person blossoms and develops—physically, spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally.

He who does not create is dead. Art is an expression of life lived in God, or against him. We are called to bring all things back to God. So we need to engage in creation, in art.

Excerpted and adapted from The People of the Towel and the Water, (2010), pp. 164-165, available from MH Publications