Saturday, June 9, 2012

Behold the West 2

This post links to RAnn's Sunday Snippets

This past winter on successive Thursday evenings our parish showed the ten episodes of Catholicism, the series featuring Fr. Robert Barron. My Wife the Art Historian asked me if I wanted to go.

Well, I've seen a ton of Fr. B's bits on YouTube, and he's kinda overexposed there, y'know? And besides, isn't this for people who don't know squat about the Catholic Church? That includes us out. On the other hand, lots of my friends'll be there and we can schmooze. And the pastor will be leading some discussion after each episode. So even if none of it's new to me I can still have a good time; at least I can give the first Thursday a shot, right?

So we go to the first one...and it is the best. It's a spectacle of painting, theology, architecture, faith, music, philosophy, the Bible, sculpture, literature, saints; every spoke on the huge wheel of Catholicism, all treated as a one big thing, like a softly whirling spiral galaxy. Which Catholicism is: the complete foundation and underpinning of the West. But Fr. Barron isn't so obvious as to say so. He simply spends 10 hours (less, really) talking about the Catholic worldview so comprehensively that it'd be hard not reach that conclusion on your own.

And the wonder is that he does it so well in a mere 10 episodes. Janet & I discuss the problem: treat the faith in all its aspects in 10 hours, and speak to the well-catechized as well as the unchurched. What would I cover; what would I leave out; how many seconds to spend on each idea; how to knit the parts into a whole, etc.,etc. So I liked the series, and was better off by far for having seen it. Plus much of how he treated things reminded me of my class, which was gratifying in the shallowest way.

But here's the real surprise: Janet bought the DVD set, and we're watching it again. It's better the second time around. 

Galaxy photo by the European Southern Observatory