Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Francis and the San Damiano Cross: Meditations on Spiritual Transformation

By Susan Saint Sing, St. Anthony Messenger Press, 103 pages.

Reports of God's death have been greatly exaggerated. The symbols of Christianity endure.

Basic Christian art, such as that of the Middle Ages or of Eastern Orthodox icons, holds a power over people that contemporary abstract art does not. Medieval art was for the people and their religious edification, if not education.

Susan Saint Sing writes about a piece of art when art was of, by, and for the people - democratic art that affected and continues to affect countless people. The San Damiano Cross is the Cross through which Saint Francis of Assisi experienced a great deal of his conversion; Jesus on that cross instructed him to rebuild his church.

Saint Sing offers insights into Saint Francis and his era with her own spirituality and theological knowledge, thereby showing how art can have a positive, powerful influence on the masses. When art is about something important like God, its message can endure through the centuries.

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