Follow usTwitterFacebook


11 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (37)

Why can't I be re-baptized as a Catholic?

Full Question I was baptized in a Lutheran church as a baby and would now like to enter the Catholic Church. Because I have not been living a Christian lif…

Read more

31 Dec 2015 Q&A No comments

What is the difference between doctrine and dogma?

Full Question I have heard that the teaching on Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces is official Catholic doctrine but not a dogma of faith. I am not clear on t…

Read more

11 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (8)

What is the Church's view on organ transplants?

Full Question What is the Church's view on organ transplants? I feel that they are wrong. If God calls someone, who are we to stop the death process? Answer …

Read more

26 Apr 2016 News No comments

George Clooney presents Catholic woman with humanitarian award

Clooney said the award to Marguerite Barankitse should inspire everyone to stand up for those in need George Clooney has presented a $1.1 million humanitaria…

Read more

22 Jan 2016 Q&A Comments (1)

Does God send wars as a punishment for sin?

Full Question A tract about Our Lady of Fatima's peace plan states that wars are a punishment from God for sin. Is this true? It doesn't seem reasonable to…

Read more

17 Oct 2016 News Comments (1)

Crucified and beheaded - Christians slaughtered for refusing Islam

Eleven missionaries, including a 12-year-old boy, were slaughtered outside Aleppo, Syria. According to Breitbart, the murders occurred on August 28 when the …

Read more

23 Feb 2016 Americas News Comments (1)

Bishop Bradley of Kalamazoo Diocese calls for an end to all forms of violence in the wake of Kalamazoo random…

In a statement released on February 21, Bishop Paul Bradley of the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo called for an end to all forms of violence, following the barba…

Read more

27 Jan 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

Can the cannibalism charge be true?

Full Question Your answer to the question about cannibalism and the Eucharist in the December 1990 issue of This Rock disturbs me. The promise in John 6 of…

Read more

25 May 2016 News Comments (1)

Catholic leaders condemn ‘moral failure’ of world’s humanitarian system

The criticism was made at the the World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey Catholic leaders have said that the global humanitarian system is a “moral failure” durin…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

The Gospel in Full Color

“Man’s ability to see is in decline,” wrote the Thomist philosopher Josef Pieper. “We do not mean here, of course, the physiological sensitivity of the human eye. We mean the spiritual capacity to perceive the visible reality as it truly is” (Only the Lover Sings: Art and Contemplation, Ignatius).

Pieper was concerned that the assault of constant images on billboards, movie screens, and television were deadening our ability to see things as they really are. He was writing in 1952: long before billboard-sized home theater systems, music videos on cell phones, and DVD players in SUVs. The volume of visual noise has increased exponentially, and our sight isn’t getting any better. As a society, we have eyes to see but do not see (cf. Ezekiel 12:2, Mark 8:18).

Our failing sight is a concern of Pope Benedict XVI. The remedy he proposes is not just to fast from the junk food of coarse and vapid images, but to feast on a wholesome diet of the Church’s great treasury of art. To that end, he included fourteen sacred images in theCompendium of the Catechism. The fourteen images are all in full color. That is surprising: Reproducing full-color images is expensive. Most publishers would cut the artwork to keep the price down.

But what others might consider an extravagance or a decoration, our Holy Father considers essential. He selected the images himself, and he insists that those same fourteen images be placed in every edition. Moreover, each image must always be positioned in the same place in relation to the text. Why go to so much trouble and expense over pretty pictures? In the introduction to the Compendium, he writes:

Images are also a preaching of the Gospel. Artists in every age have offered the principal facts of the mystery of salvation to the contemplation and wonder of believers by presenting them in the splendor of color and in the perfection of beauty. It is an indication of how today more than ever, in a culture of images, a sacred image can express much more than what can be said in words, and be an extremely effective and dynamic way of communicating the Gospel message.

Over the last two years, we have made a concerted effort to include inThis Rock images that preach the Gospel. Many of those images were worthy of a full essay of explanation rather than the quick caption that yours truly could cobble together. Now, providentially, we can do better. We are adding a department dedicated to art and apologetics. Michael Schrauzer, a gifted artist and writer (see his work at, will help us to develop Eyes to See.

* * *

By: Cherie Peacock


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories