See With New Eyes!

Psalm 100:3

Know that the LORD is God!

Much of what passes for art today is junk. What we see on television or at the movies or in pop music is increasingly about “pushing the outside of the envelope.” That is, it is about doing something more shocking and grotesque today than was done yesterday because the viewer is bored with mere titillation and now demands that chicken heads be bitten off or somebody be disemboweled in order to stab deadened senses to life with some fresh shock. At the end of that road lies not liberation but boredom and despair. In contrast, real art shows us, not new and more distorted cruelties and perversions for the sake of shock, but wonders in what is ordinary and everyday. C.S. Lewis said that one of the chief tasks of a good poet was to remind us that grass is green and water is wet and the sky is blue. Real poetry and real art is, in part, written to remind us of the strangeness and wonder of things that we encounter everyday. That is why today’s verse is real poetry. It is strange beyond telling that we live in a universe ruled by a God like ours. But it also happens to be true. The psalmist merely has to say “Know that the Lord is God!” and we are plunged into a bottomless mystery — if we think about it. In the words of G.K. Chesterton, “If you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in frightful danger of seeing it for the first time.” Today, look at God and his world again and see it for the first time.

Mark Shea

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Mark P. Shea is a Catholic author, blogger, and speaker.

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