Fragments of Light

Veni, Creator Spiritus

If the work of the Spirit is to bring life, vitality, and wholeness to bodies, then it is much easier to explain our intuition that there is something spiritual about the arts. In music, painting, and other arts, our senses are engaged and enlarged, our physical experience both refined and broadened. We attend carefully to both the world and to our own physical experience of it. We gain practice in those very capacities that together indicate life and health—sight, hearing, attention, and responsiveness to touch. We become, in a very real sense, more fully embodied, more fully incarnate. In this regard, the arts mirror the work of the Spirit.
—Steven R. Guthrie, Creator Spirit, The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human

Exploring the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the arts, Steven Guthrie presents a vision of how human artistry participates in the Spirit’s redemptive work. Guthrie goes on to say, “The goal toward which the Spirit carries us is not numinous silence but the ecstatic speech of Pentecost, not simply standing in wordless awe over the unknowable depths but kneeling down at the spring to drink. We account for the ineffability of biblical Spirituality not by denying but by insisting that the Spirit also invites us to speak. Spirituality may be described as ineffable not only because of the Spirit-Wind who rushes in unexpectedly, but also and precisely because of the Spirit-Breath who brings word and speech. The Spirit’s ineffability is not the refusal of words. Quite the opposite. It is an invitation and an enabling by which we speak and respond. . . . Because the Spirit is a person who encounters us, the proper thing—really the only polite thing—is to respond, to say something, whether in paint or tones or words on paper, however inadequate, about the One who meets and remakes us.”

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