About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two children.
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"It's good that you are in the USA, otherwise who is going to—in the best sense—make music?"
— Ignaz Friedman writing to Josef Hofmann (4 January 1940)

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"Beauty" by Most Rev. James D. Conley (Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska)
published 18 December 2013 by Jeff Ostrowski

Creek monks ERE AT WATERSHED we talk an awful lot about “beauty.” There really isn’t another word for “beauty” and perhaps we overuse that word.

“Beautiful” has many definitions. A decent one is “something in which man takes delight.” Another might be, “something which shines forth because of its perfection.” As we’ll see in a minute, many different kinds of things can have “perfection.” Years ago, like James D. Conley, I took courses with Dennis B. Quinn, who founded the 1970s Integrated Humanities Program with John Senior and Franklyn Nelick. If you’ve never heard of it, I encourage you to Google it.

I’m horrible when it comes to poetry, but anybody who studied the “Poetic Method” with these KU professors had to memorize this awesome poem:

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

Pretty amazing … young children understand beauty. And so do adults. So do the elderly.

Anyway, Bishop Conley has written a long article for Crisis Magazine about beauty, the Catholic Faith, and the Integrated Humanities Program. Highly recommended! For a PDF version, click here.