Who are the Dominicans?
In 1216, St. Dominic de Guzman founded the Order of Preachers, otherwise known as the Dominicans. Although this new order was created in specific response to the Albigensian heresy -- which denied the dignity of our humanity -- it was also meant to fulfill the need for capable preachers formed in the teachings of the Catholic faith and able to combat doctrinal error in all its forms.
|St Dominic, Bl. Fra Angelico.|
But what does the vocation of a musician, an artist, have to do with preaching?
First of all, preaching can consist of many forms. One can preach through example -- through actions as well as words. But is it possible to evangelize through art? Absolutely, though there is a delicate balance between art with an agenda and art which simply speaks the truth -- (for examples of "agenda" art, just look at the numerous sub-par prolife films Christians have made over the past several years).
Second of all, preaching not only can but *should* consist of multiple forms. Fr. Mark Daniel Kirby, OSB, argues that sometimes the truth, the naked truth, is not enough to persuade a person. However, if the truth is clothed in beauty, the truth often becomes not only less threatening but it takes on the splendor of the Father, what Pope Benedict XVI has termed the "Splendor of Truth." Beauty can reach the soul where the naked truth is often unable to penetrate. Truth speaks to the mind. But a person is made up of both a mind and a heart. You can tell person that something is true, but very often telling them is not enough. They need to be awakened to the truth. In the words of Barbara Nicolosi, "It's not telling people the truth that saves them. It's getting them to wrestle with the truth that saves them."
|The Crowning with Thorns, Caravaggio. 1607.|