Fragments of Light

All posts by Mount Tabor

Reflections 3

The following is a continuation of Mons. Verdon’s answer to the question, “What is the role of the contemporary artist today who happens to be a Christian?”, from the Lumen Christi retreat:

“The Christian who is an artist has to allow his personality as a Christian to come through. The term persona (person, personality) was first invented to describe the Christian theatre mask. The large mask they used in ancient theatre, had a small megaphone near the mouth, which allowed the actors to project their voice more effectively. And the word in Latin of this sound that came through the megaphone, or the act of projecting the sound through the megaphone is sonare, meaning, to sound through. That is what every Christian does, every Christian artist does. Behind the mask which is the individual historic person that we are, we are all born in a place and time, we all assume certain characteristics. Yet, by an adult age we realize that there is more to us than what the world sees. There is more to us than the historical dimension which circumstances have given us. We have more important things to say than that which appears when someone seemingly logically deduces one’s persona, simply by knowing the historic facts of that person’s life. There is something more in me that has to come out. For the Christian, that is something very similar to what St Paul meant when he said, “I live but not I, it is Christ who lives in me.” The Christian artist is someone who is truly alive, he is that person or she is that person from that place, in that time, with that style and with those limits he or she has. The Christian artist knows that within his or her life is the life of Christ. So the Christian artist wants to allow that larger dimension, that which is more than a simple biographical sketch would lead you to believe, to come through.”


Sally Kanaga