We make beautiful music and other art to soothe our need for social and emotional justice, and this too helps in our faith, sustains our energy to fight the good fight.

But remember, art can never be a substitute for sincere faith: it is not art masquerading as faith; it is faith as expressed through art.

Nevertheless, progress in art can accompany progress in faith.

Marcus Aurelius put it this way.

“Any form of nature outrivals art, since every art is no more than an imitation of the natural. This being so, that supreme Nature, which is more perfect and all-inclusive than any other, cannot fail to be pre-eminent in the artist’s craft.

Furthermore, it is only with an eye on something higher that the arts produce their inferior works, and this is what Nature itself also does.

Here, then, we find the origins of justice, for all the other virtues depend on this. We can never achieve true justice while we set our hearts on things of lesser value, and are content to remain credulous, headstrong, and inconstant.”

Your heart is as just as that which it values most. Set your heart, then, on valuing most the spiritual laws of God and putting them into practice. Use the arts or any other human skill or craft, or earthly material, to achieve that purpose, and all will be well between you and God.

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