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November 9: Memorial of the  Dedication of St. John Lateran
"Most Catholics think of St. Peterís as the popeís main church, but they are wrong. St. John Lateran is the popeís church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides."  [American Catholic]

November 10: Memorial of Pope St. Leo the Great
"'Although bishops have a common dignity, they are not all of the same rank. Even among the most blessed Apostles, though they were alike in honor, there was a certain distinction of power. All were equal in being chosen, but it was given to one to be preeminent over the others . . . the care of the universal Church would converge in the one See of Peter, and nothing should ever be at odds with this head.'" [Biblical Evidence for Catholicism]

November 11: Memorial fo St. Martin of Tours
"At prayer he encountered demons, often under the guise of heathen deities, and Satan disguised on one occasion as our Lord. Satan once taunted him with admitting as monks men guilty of grievous sin. 'If you, yourself,' he replied, 'would, even now, repent of your misdeeds, I have such trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that I would promise you mercy.'" [CIN]

November 13: Memorial of Mother Cabrini
"Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and pioneer worker for the welfare of dispersed Italian nationals, this diminutive nun was responsible for the establishment of nearly seventy orphanages, schools, and hospitals, scattered over eight countries in Europe, North, South, and Central America."  [EWTN]

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WELL DONE, MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT.

Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.

The Gospel for Sunday, November 13, 2005
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mt 25:14-30 or 25:14-15, 19-21

The opening page of the Bible presents God as a kind of exemplar of everyone who produces a work: the human craftsman mirrors the image of God as Creator.

What is the difference between "creator" and "craftsman"? The one who creates bestows being itself, he brings something out of nothingóex nihilo sui et subiecti, as the Latin puts itóand this, in the strict sense, is a mode of operation which belongs to the Almighty alone. The craftsman, by contrast, uses something that already exists, to which he gives form and meaning. This is the mode of operation peculiar to man as made in the image of God. In fact, after saying that God created man and woman "in his image" (cf. Gn 1:27), the Bible adds that he entrusted to them the task of dominating the earth (cf. Gn 1:28). This was the last day of creation (cf. Gn 1:28-31). On the previous days, marking as it were the rhythm of the birth of the cosmos, Yahweh had created the universe. Finally he created the human being, the noblest fruit of his design, to whom he subjected the visible world as a vast field in which human inventiveness might assert itself.

God therefore called man into existence, committing to him the craftsman's task. Through his "artistic creativity" man appears more than ever "in the image of God", and he accomplishes this task above all in shaping the wondrous "material" of his own humanity and then exercising creative dominion over the universe which surrounds him. With loving regard, the divine Artist passes on to the human artist a spark of his own surpassing wisdom, calling him to share in his creative power. Obviously, this is a sharing which leaves intact the infinite distance between the Creator and the creature, as Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa made clear: "Creative art, which it is the soul's good fortune to entertain, is not to be identified with that essential art which is God himself, but is only a communication of it and a share in it".

That is why artists, the more conscious they are of their "gift", are led all the more to see themselves and the whole of creation with eyes able to contemplate and give thanks, and to raise to God a hymn of praise. This is the only way for them to come to a full understanding of themselves, their vocation and their mission.

Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.

Human beings, in a certain sense, are unknown to themselves. Jesus Christ not only reveals God, but "fully reveals man to man". In Christ, God has reconciled the world to himself. All believers are called to bear witness to this; but it is up to you, men and women who have given your lives to art, to declare with all the wealth of your ingenuity that in Christ the world is redeemed: the human person is redeemed, the human body is redeemed, and the whole creation which, according to Saint Paul, "awaits impatiently the revelation of the children of God" (Rom 8:19), is redeemed. The creation awaits the revelation of the children of God also through art and in art. This is your task. Humanity in every age, and even today, looks to works of art to shed light upon its path and its destiny.

May the beauty which you pass on to generations still to come be such that it will stir them to wonder! Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude. People of today and tomorrow need this enthusiasm if they are to meet and master the crucial challenges which stand before us. Thanks to this enthusiasm, humanity, every time it loses its way, will be able to lift itself up and set out again on the right path. In this sense it has been said with profound insight that "beauty will save the world".

November 7, 2005

Excerpted from POPE JOHN PAUL IIís 1999 LETTER TO ARTISTS.

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11.07.05   Godspy says:
Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.

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