Friday, September 2, 2011

Artist and Priest - Part 2

In my previous post I commented on one of the differences between being an artist and a priest. In this one I want to briefly comment on one of the similarities. (Note: there are obviously many differences and many similarities between the two vocations. These that I mention are but two.)

Both the artist and the priest struggles to get people to care about what they do. Or put another way, the vast majority of people do not care what an artist does or what a priest does! Both vocations involve a great deal of internal struggle and self-discovery, and after that struggle the person wishes to share what he has learned and how he has grown with others to help them in some way.

How discouraging it is when he learns that despite his blood, sweat, and tears, and his years of labor most people could care less about his work or ministry! The vast majority of folk are not interested in art or God. Instead they are content to settle for kitsch and for idols.

The only way to survive the artistic ad priestly vocation is to expect rejection. In terms of the artist, he should expect to be a Van Gogh. In terms of priesthood he should expect to be a Jeremiah, or Jesus. Any success, or any message conveying thanks, is to be understood as an exception (a very welcome exception) to the rule.

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