Has there ever been a time when you made something? Perhaps it was a piece of writing, some sort of artwork or construction, or maybe just a school project. It may have been a labor of love (or maybe just a labor) but did you ever feel some form of satisfaction? You’d just created something. You thought of something, and put it together yourself. Your handiwork is displayed for the world to appreciate.
Creativity has been permeating pop culture for quite some time now. In recent news, however, the Catholic Church has been introduced to the mix. The 2018 Met Gala’s theme was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” Say what you will about the event, but one cannot deny the conversation it has introduced into society’s collective consciousness: creativity and its origins in Christianity.
This spirit of creativity, this innate desire we have to share our thoughts in a visual way, it’s divinely inspired. It has roots in the Bible, even. Don’t believe me? Pick up your Bible, pull up Google, and search for Genesis 1:1. What does it say?
“In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth…” God created. That’s the very first thing He did. There are countless different depictions of God, but have you ever taken a moment to realize how artistic He is? He is the Author of Humanity, He is the Potter and we are His clay (Jeremiah 18:6).
Google defines creation as “the act of bringing something into existence.” God created us, He created this world and all of its wonders, but He didn’t stop there.
Saint Pope John Paul II wrote a letter to artists, but his words are impactful for anyone who has a desire to create. He wrote that “the one who creates bestows being itself, he brings something out of nothing.” God called man into existence out of nothing, and He, the Divine Artist, passed on to us a “divine spark” of His own surpassing wisdom. Isn’t that crazy? When we build, craft, draw, write, whatever, we are igniting that very spark that God gave us. We’ve been given talents and skills unique to each and every one of us, and we shouldn’t keep them to ourselves. We are called to share these gifts, sharing truth, beauty and goodness with the world.
JPII goes on to say how artists are needed, just as much as society needs scientists, professional people, parents, and other workers. He writes in his letter that the Church needs art. Catholic art helps portray “the world of the spirit, of God.” Through writing, architecture, artwork and music, we carry on Jesus’ very own tradition of imagery, helping us see the unseen. Jesus used parables to help His early followers better visualize and understand the truth of His life, and through our works we can lead others to God.
Some people may be reading this and thinking to themselves, well, I’m not artsy or imaginative, so what? JPII has a response to this as well: “all men and women are entrusted with the task of creating their own life…they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.” Whatever your vocation in life is, you are called to live it to the fullest. When you live your life pursuing Christ, sharing Him with others, you are spreading that very truth, beauty and goodness that comes from God.
Later on in the first chapter of Genesis are the words
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gn 1:31).
We are the Creator’s creation, and we are very good. So, as His creation, we should keep on creating.