For many years the angels have knelt atop their “riddle posts” in the tiny chapel of Our Lady of the Way on the Hudson River. Their posts on either side of the Blessed Sacrament hold tapestry “riddle curtains,” which separate the altar from the rest of the chapel (from the Middle English riddel “to separate.”) Their sincere expressions and the precious materials indicate the seriousness of their task.
For a person who loves to restore dilapidated, old or ancient churches to their original beauty, what to think about….modernism?
It is easy to decry the negative aspects of modern church architecture. When we strip away everything and return to the barren desert to find God, we may find sterility or banality instead. We discussed the reasons why the aesthetics of the “Via Negativa” may go awry in our blog post, “What are the ‘Two Ways’ to Beauty?”
So. Is there anything to love in modernism?
1. It takes a noisy machine to clean it.
If you are kneeling in silent communion with Our Lord and Savior, miraculously present in the Blessed Sacrament, what do you do when the maintanence worker comes in with the vacuum? You flee, faster than the apostles.
I am a materialist because God made me as an unique project, the intersection of the spiritual and material worlds. I am neither an angel nor a bucket of sand.