“An emphasis on the need for practical use is beneficial when applied to goods in the market, so as to meet the ever changing demands of the consumer,” says Caroline Roberts in this week’s Acton Commentary. “But the value of some goods cannot be reduced to a selling price.”
One such good is beauty. Although the market has a role to play in the creation of beautiful things, this essential good can only be fully realized through the work of talented people devoted to the vocation of art.
Flannery O’Connor, American southern fiction author and essayist, boldly insisted that her worldview as a Christian did not narrow her field of vision as a writer and participator in the arts, but rather widened it. In an essay in Mystery and Manners, O’Connor emphatically states that “[w]hen people have told me that because I am a Catholic, I cannot be an artist, I have had to reply, ruefully, that because I am a Catholic, I cannot afford to be less than an artist.”