Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43

The Canadian philosopher and communications theorist Marshall McLuhan once declared that language was a form of organised stutter[1]. In a slightly less cynical vein, the American academic and poet J B Greenough said that language was the felicitous misapplication of words[2]. Both these statements point to the limitations of language, especially when we talk of God and the life of faith. When we talk about God, we are discussing a mystery that defies our attempts to say everything about it that can be said; we can only use analogy and metaphor because, inadequate though these may be, they are all we have[3]. Continue reading “Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43”

Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30

In the world of opera, one of the standards of the tenor repertoire is the aria “Recondita Armonia” from the opera Tosca by Giacomo Puccini. In this aria, the character Cavaradossi, an artist, contrasts the dark, haunting beauty of his lover Tosca with the radiant, joyous beauty of the portrait of the Madonna which he is painting. He muses on how art brings contrasting elements together to create something powerful and magnificent, just as his passionate desire for Tosca lends itself to the creation of an ethereal work of sacred art.    Continue reading “Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30”