Two Pictures from Different Ages – Compare and Contrast!

I was recently in Burgos, Spain and saw the splendid cathedral there. My first view of it came at night and I took the photo above. What a magnificent building; such proportion and symmetry! It reminds me of tall trees in a forest, majestically reaching up to the heavens. The flying buttresses supporting the soaring walls and towers showcase a great advance in building technique.

These were the skyscrapers of the Middle Ages. Such angular, geometric, and vertical beauty; a fair flower of the 13th century echoing God’s creation and pointing to Him in a great work of human praise.

Two medieval phrases come to mind in the beauty of this building:

      • Beauty is id quod visum placet – Beauty is that which pleases when seen.
      • Pulchra dicuntur quae visa placent – Things that give pleasure when seen are called beautiful.

A mere thirty yards from this beautiful cathedral in the town square is something that is not beautiful in any traditional sense. I took the photo of it that is on the left. It was not uplifting and seemed to correspond to nothing in creation (unless one were to imagine a dinosaur dropping or a huge stumbling block). Like most modern abstract art, it looks more to me like someone’s nightmare. It seems to have little to say other than “Try to figure me out, you ignoramus.” Indeed, that is what I am usually called by art critics when I express dismay at these sorts of ugly blobs that clutter too many of our public squares and “art” museums.

Some disparagingly refer to the Middle Ages as the “dark ages” while referring to the current age as “enlightened.” Certainly, no age is perfect, but compare and contrast the two items in the photos here: uplifting, soaring, and inspiring; the other is dark and brooding, and its meaning is opaque. One is an uplifting building from the 13th century, the other a dark “who knows what” from the 20th century. Based on representational art, which age seems more inspiring? Which seems more enlightened? Decide for yourself, but I’ll take the 13th century!

St. Thomas Aquinas (also from the 13th century) spoke of beauty as consisting of integritas, consonantia, and claritas.  He writes,

For beauty includes three conditions: “integrity” or “perfection,” since those things which are impaired are by the very fact ugly; due “proportion” or “harmony”; and lastly, “brightness” or “clarity,” whence things are called beautiful which have a bright color [Summa Theologica I, 38, art 8].

In applying these criteria to human art and architecture, we might consider the following:

Integritas (Integrity) – This speaks to the manner in which something echoes the beauty of what God has done. Thomas says that every created being is beautiful because God gives beauty to all created beings by a certain participation in the divine beauty. Therefore, human art and architecture are said to have integrity insofar as they participate in and point to the divine beauty of things. This need not mean an exact mimicry, but it does require at least a respectful glance to creation, holding forth some aspect of it so as to edify us with better and higher things. The cathedral pictured above points to a majestic forest as its form, its soaring stone to the mountains. Its colored glass allows the natural light to dazzle the eye and tell the stories of the Gospels. It is a sermon in glass and stone. As such, it has integrity, because it puts forth God’s glory. I’m not sure what the dark metal blob says. To what does it point? I have no idea. Because it is not integrated into the glory of creation (in any way that I can discern, at least) it does not have integrity. Rather, it seems to mock creation. If you think it is beautiful and has integrity, I invite you to explain why and how; I am at a loss to see any meaning at all in it.

Consonantia (Proportion) – This refers to the order and unity within a given thing. What God creates has a unity and purpose in its parts, which work together in an orderly fashion to direct something to its proper function or end. Thus, art and architecture intrinsically bespeak a unity and functionality, or they point to it extrinsically. They make sense of the world and respect what is given, reflecting the beauty of order, purpose, and design that God has set forth. The cathedral is beautiful because its parts act together in an orderly and harmonious way. There is balance, proportion, and symmetry. There is a recta ratio factibilium (something made according to right reason). As such, the building participates in God’s good order, and that is a beautiful thing. As for the dark metal “blob” (I don’t know what else to call it), it doesn’t seem to me to have any proportion. It is roundish, but not really. Does it have parts? Do they work together for some end? If so, what end? I cannot tell. Rather than pointing to order, it makes me think of chaos. I see no beauty echoed or pointed to.

Claritas (Clarity) – It is through clarity that we can answer the question “What is it?” with some degree of precision and understanding. Claritas also refers to the brightness or radiance of a thing. Something of God’s glory shines through; something about it gives light; something teaches us and reminds us of God—and God and light are beautiful. The gorgeous cathedral reflects the light shining on it, even at night. During the day it proclaims the glory of God by its soaring majesty, its sculptures, its windows, its order, its proportionality. It is a bright light showing forth the brightness of God and participating in it. As for the metal thing, it seems more to suck the light out of the room; it broods. I see no clarity, no brightness. I still cannot answer the question that clarity demands: “What is it?” There is no clear message. As such, it lacks beauty.

The criteria of beauty discussed here cannot be used for labeling things “beautiful” with absolute certainty, as if by applying a formula. They are more like guidelines to help us pin down some notion of beauty that is not purely subjective. Not all these criteria must be met for an object to be considered beautiful, and the presence of one does not guarantee beauty.

So again, you decide for yourself. Each of the two structures pictured above is representative of its age. Were the Dark Ages really so dark? Is ours really so enlightened? Compare and contrast!

Cross-posted at the Catholic Standard: Two Pictures from Different Ages – Compare and Contrast!

A Reflection on the Mystery of Art as a Capacity of the Human Soul

Blog-09-01I can neither draw nor paint and have always marveled at how some can take an empty canvas and bring it to life with form, color, depth, and shadow. Little by little, from the painter’s brush and soul, a picture emerges. So, too, with sculpting: with each blow of the sculptor’s tools, a block of marble becomes the form of a human being.

Some years ago, there was a show on PBS called “The Joy of Painting,” featuring Bob Ross. Over the course of half an hour, Mr. Ross would paint a picture, describing what he was doing as he went. And though I watched that show almost every week for a number of years, observing what he did and listening to him describe his techniques, I never ceased to be amazed by the mystery on display. How did he do it? Yes, he explained his methods, but there was some deeper mystery at work: a power of the soul, a gift. He claimed that we all have it, but I am more inclined to think some have it as a special gift.

Michelangelo once said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” He also said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

But how does he see it? How does he set it free? Indeed, another great mystery and faculty of the human soul of some.

As with music, the arts of painting and sculpting seem to be unique capacities of the human soul. Animals neither draw nor sculpt; they do not even appreciate art. It is a special gift to the human person to be captivated by beauty; it is also a gift that beauty, once seen and experienced, can emerge from the soul in expressive praise. There are special glories and a unique gifts given only to the human person, mysterious gifts to be sure. It is all caught up in our desire for what is good, true, and beautiful; it is caught up in our soul’s ultimate longing for God.

Perhaps Michelangelo should have the last word: “Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.”

Here’s a video of “performance painter” David Garibaldi at work; watch for the surprise ending:

Here’s a video from an episode of Bob Ross’s “The Joy of Painting” show. In this brief clip he teaches us how to paint a mountain (and does a little philosophizing as well):

And finally this video shows the remarkable transformation of a block of marble into the image of a human face:

Compare and Contrast! Two Pictures from Different Ages – Which Age Looks Healthier?

blog10-25-001A couple of years ago I was  in Burgos, Spain and saw the splendid cathedral there. My first views of it came at night and I took the photo at the upper right. What a magnificent building; such proportion and symmetry! To me there is the echo of tall trees in a forest, majestically reaching up to the heavens. There is also evident a great advance in building technique in the flying buttresses that support the soaring walls and towers.

These were the skyscrapers of the middle ages. Such angular, geometric, and vertical beauty; a fair flower of the 13th century echoing God’s creation and pointing to  Him in a great work of human praise.

Two medieval phrases come to mind in the beauty of this building. Beauty is:

  1. Beauty is id quod visum placet – (Beauty is) that which pleases when seen.
  2. Pulchra dicuntur quae visa placent – Things that give pleasure when seen are called beautiful.

blog10-25-002 A mere thirty yards from this beautiful cathedral in the town square was something that is not beautiful in any traditional sense. I took the photo of it that is here on the left. It was not lightsome; it seemed to correspond to nothing in creation (unless one were to imagine a dinosaur dropping or some giant stumbling block). Frankly, like most modern abstract art, it looks more to me like someone’s nightmare. It seems to have little to say other than “Try to figure me out, you ignoramus.” For indeed, that is what I am usually called by art critics when I express dismay at these sorts of ugly blobs that clutter too many of our public squares and “art” museums today.

There are some who mistakenly call the Middle Ages the “Dark Ages” and smugly call our age “enlightened.” Certainly no age is perfect, but compare and contrast the two items in the photos here: one is lightsome, soaring, and inspiring; the other is dark, brooding, and opaque as to its meaning. One is a lightsome building from the 13th century, the other a dark “who-knows-what” from the 20th century. Based on representational art, which age seems more inspiring? Which seems more enlightened? You decide. But I’ll take the 13th century.

St. Thomas Aquinas (also from the 13th century) spoke of beauty as consisting of integritas, consonantia, and claritas.  He writes,

For beauty includes three conditions: “integrity” or “perfection,” since those things which are impaired are by the very fact ugly; due “proportion” or “harmony”; and lastly, “brightness” or “clarity,” whence things are called beautiful which have a bright color (Summa Theologica I, 38, art 8).

In applying these criteria to human art and architecture, we might consider the following:

 Integritas (integrity) – This speaks to the manner in which something echoes the beauty of what God has done. Thomas says that every created being is beautiful since God gives beauty to all created beings by a certain participation in the divine beauty. Therefore, human art and architecture are said to have integrity insofar as they participate in and point to the divine beauty of things. This need not mean an exact mimicry but at least a respectful glance to creation, holding some aspect of it forth so as to edify us with better and higher things. The cathedral above points to a majestic forest as its form, its soaring stone to the mountains. Its colored glass allows the natural light to dazzle the eye and tell the stories of the Gospel. It is a sermon in glass and stone. As such, it has integrity, since it tells forth God’s glory. I’m not sure what the dark metal blob says. To what does it point? I have no idea. As such, it does not have integrity, since it is not integrated into the glory of creation in any way that I can discern. It seems rather to mock creation. If you think it is beautiful and has integrity, I invite you so explain why and how. But I am at a loss to see any meaning at all in it.

Consonantia (proportion) – This refers to the order and unity within a given thing. What God creates has a unity and purpose in its parts, which work together in an orderly fashion to direct something to its proper function or end. Thus art and architecture intrinsically bespeak a unity and functionality or they point to it extrinsically. They make sense of the world and respect what is given, reflecting the beauty of order, purpose, and design that God has set forth. The cathedral is beautiful because its parts act together in an orderly and harmonious way. There is balance, proportion, and symmetry. There is a recta ratio factibilium (something made according to right reason). As such, the building participates in God’s good order; that is a beautiful thing. As for the dark metal “thing” (I don’t know what to call it), it doesn’t seem to me to have any proportion. It is roundish, but not really. Does it have parts? Do they work together for some end? If so, what end? I cannot tell. Rather than pointing to order, it makes me think of chaos. As such, I see no beauty echoed or pointed to.

Claritas (clarity) – It is through clarity that we can answer the question, “What is it?” with an ample degree of precision and ready understanding. Claritas also refers to the brightness or radiance of a thing. Something of God’s glory shines through; something about it gives light; something teaches and reminds us of God, and God and light are beautiful. The beautiful cathedral reflects the light shining on it, even at night. During the day it proclaims the glory of God by its soaring majesty, its sculptures, its windows, its order and proportion. It is a bright light showing forth the brightness of God and participating in it. As for the metal thing, it seems more to suck the light out of the room; it broods. I see no clarity, no brightness. I still cannot answer the question that clarity demands: “What is it?” There is no clear message. As such, it lacks beauty.

The criteria of beauty discussed here cannot be used for labeling things “beautiful” with absolute certainty, as if by applying a formula. They are more like guidelines to help us pin down some notion of beauty that is not purely subjective. Not all these criteria must be present for an object to be considered beautiful, and the presence of one does not guarantee that the object is beautiful.

So again, you decide. Each item pictured above is emblematic of its age. Were the “Dark Ages” really so dark? And is ours really so enlightened? Compare and contrast!

The Magnificent Mystery of Art and the Glory of the Human Soul

092914One of the more common modern themes is that the human person is really nothing more than a smart ape or an above-average animal. To this I must reply, “Nonsense!”

It is true that we have many similarities to primates and, really, to all mammals. But the similarities stop there.

At the level of the soul the differences could not be greater! Animals do not compose symphonies; they do not write great works of literature or create magnificent art. They do not build cities or form bicameral legislatures.  They do not pass laws or even ponder right and wrong. They do not punish crime or reward virtue. They have no museums or libraries to collect their great works. They do not invent telescopes to look to the stars; they have not been to the moon and back or even wish to go there. They do not speak or sing, not because they lack a larynx, but because they have nothing to say, nothing to sing joyfully or to lament. They may suffer physical pain but they do not cry out in anguish, “Why?” They do not have cemeteries or religious rites. They may form packs to hunt but they do not form brotherhoods to assist the widows of dead members. They do not send their children to school to learn and they do not desire something greater for them. They do not ponder the Pythagorean theorem and its relationship to music theory. They do not build hospitals, theaters, or sports arenas.  They do not hold contests or celebrate weddings. They do not debate rights or justice or have courts. They do not have armies or go to war.

The gulf between animals and humans is enormous. Clearly the existence of the human soul, and more specifically that aspect of the soul called the spirit, is evident in abundance in the chasm between man and even the highest primates. Our lives and experiences are wholly different from theirs.

Consider art, specifically the fine art of painting.  I cannot draw or paint, yet I have always marveled at how some can take an empty canvas and bring it to life with color, form, depth, and shadow. And, little by little, from the painter’s brush and from his or her soul a picture emerges. So, too, with sculpting. A mere block of marble, with each blow of the sculptor’s tools, comes to resemble the form of a human being or some other reality in nature.

Some years ago there was a painter on PBS (Bob Ross) who would, over the course of half an hour, paint a picture and describe what he was doing as he went along. I watched that show almost every week for a number of years. And though I watched him, saw what he did, and even heard him describe the techniques, I never ceased to be amazed by the mystery before me. How did he do it? He described his method and technique, but there was some deeper mystery at work, a power of the soul, a gift. He claimed that we all have it. But I am more inclined to think that some have the ability to paint or sculpt as a special gift.

Michelangelo famously said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” He also said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Yes, but how does he see it? How does he set it free? Indeed, another great mystery and faculty of the human soul of some.

As with music, the art of painting and sculpting seems a unique capacity of the human soul. As I pointed out, animals do not draw; they do not sculpt; they do not even appreciate art. It is a special gift to the human person to be captivated by beauty, and for that beauty, once seen and experienced, to emerge from the soul in expressive praise. There are special glories and unique gifts given only to the human person, mysterious gifts to be sure. It is caught up in our desire for what is good, true, and beautiful; caught up in our soul’s ultimate longing for God.

Perhaps Michelangelo should have the last word: “Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.”

Here’s a video of a painter at work on a speed painting. Be sure to watch all the way through to the surprise ending.

David Garibaldi: Jesus Painting from Thriving Churches on Vimeo.


Here’s a video of Bob Ross from the Joy of Painting show I mentioned above. In this brief passage, Bob teaches us to paint a mountain and imparts a little philosophy as well.



And finally, this video shows the remarkable transformation of a block of marble to the image of a human face.

A Reflection on the mystery of Art as a capacity of the Human soul

"Brush and watercolours" Jennifer Rensel - Flickr: Let's paint!.  Licensed under  CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Brush and watercolours” Jennifer Rensel – Flickr: Let’s paint!. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

I cannot draw or paint. Yet I have always marveled at how some can take an empty canvas and bring it to life with color, form, depth, and shadow. And, little by little, from the painter’s brush and soul a picture emerges. So too with sculpting. A mere block of marble, with each blow of the sculptor’s tools, it comes to resemble the form of a human being or some other reality with nature.

Some years ago, there was a painter, on PBS (Bob Ross) who would, over the course of a half hour paint a picture and describe what he was doing as he went. I watched that show most every week for a number of years and, though I watched him, saw what he did, and even heard him describe the techniques, I never really ceased to be amazed by the mystery before me. How did he do it? Yes, he spoke of method and technique, but there was some deeper mystery at work; a power of the soul, a gift. He claimed we all have it. But I am more inclined to think some have it as a special gift.

Michelangelo famously said, Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. He also said, I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. Yes, but how does he see it? How does he set it free? Indeed, another great mystery and faculty of the human soul of some.

As with music, the art of painting and sculpting seems a unique capacity of the human soul. Animals do not draw, they do not sculpt, they do not even appreciate art. It is a special gift to the human person to be captivated by beauty, and also for beauty, once it is seen and experienced, to emerge from his soul in expressive praise. There are special glories and a unique gifts given only to the human person, a mysterious gift to be sure. It is caught up in our desire for what is good, true and beautiful, caught up in our soul’s ultimate longing for God.

Perhaps Michelangelo should have the last word: Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.

Picture: A Painter in his Studio by Francois Boucher

Here’s a painter at work on a speed painting with a surprise end:

David Garibaldi: Jesus Painting from Thriving Churches on Vimeo.


Here’s a video of Bob Ross, the Joy of Painting show I mentioned above. In this brief passage he teaches us to paint a mountain and gives a little philosophy as well.



If you have time this video shows a remarkable transformation of a block of marble to a face.

Yes, But How? A Reflection on the Mystery of Art

I cannot draw or paint. Yet I have always marveled at how some can take an empty canvas and bring it to life with color, form, depth, and shadow. And, little by little, from the painter’s brush and soul a picture emerges. So too with sculpting. A mere block of marble, with each blow of the sculptor’s tools, it comes to resemble the form of a human being or some other reality with nature.

Some years ago, there was a painter, on PBS (Bob Ross) who would, over the course of a half hour paint a picture and describe what he was doing as he went. I watched that show most every week for a number of years and, though I watched him, saw what he did, and even heard him describe the techniques, I never really ceased to be amazed by the mystery before me. How did he do it? Yes, he spoke of method and technique, but there was some deeper mystery at work; a power of the soul, a gift. He claimed we all have it. But I am more inclined to think some have it as a special gift.

Michelangelo famously said, Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. He also said, I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. Yes, but how does he see it? How does he set it free? Indeed, another great mystery and faculty of the human soul of some.

As with music, the art of painting and sculpting seems a unique capacity of the human soul. Animals do not draw, they do not sculpt, they do not even appreciate art. It is a special gift to the human person to be captivated by beauty, and for beauty, once seen and experienced, to emerge from his soul in expressive praise. There are special glories and a unique gifts given only to the human person, a mysterious gift to be sure. It is caught up in our desire for what is good, true and beautiful, caught up in our soul’s ultimate longing for God.

Perhaps Michelangelo should have the last word: Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.

Picture: A Painter in his Studio by Francois Boucher

Here’s a painter a work on a speed painting with a surprise end:

David Garibaldi: Jesus Painting from Thriving Churches on Vimeo.


Here’s a video of Bob Ross, the Joy of Painting show I mentioned above. In this brief passage he teaches us to paint a mountain and gives a little philosophy as well.



If you have time this video shows a remarkable transformation of a block of marble to a face.

Some of the Most Beautiful Women I Know Hang Out At the Basilica

 

I went to the Basilica of the National Shrine of The Immaculate Conception here in Washington DC  last week to celebrate Mass the TV Mass. Afterward I went to the crypt church and took a series of pictures of the beautiful mosaics of the women of the Scriptures and early Church. Among them are Agatha, Agnes, Anastasia, Anne, Brigid, Catherine, Cecilia, Lucy, Margarita, Perpetua, Felicity, and Susanna.

At the right is a mosaic of St. Cecilia

The Mosaics date to 1927 and were designed and installed by Ravenna Mosaic Co, of St. Louis. They are  the backdrops for the 14 side altars that ring the apse and side galleries of the crypt. I could spend hours reading and studying them. Inspiring Latin inscriptions are integral to each mosaic. You can see the rest of the pictures I took here: Women of the Basilica. I recommend you use the slide show option when you get there.

In addition, I have put a video together of the images. The Latin text of the music in the Video is from the Song of Sings 2:1-2  Ego flos campi, et lilium convallium.  Sicut lilium inter spinas, sic amica mea inter filias  (I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys.  As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters). Composer is Frederico Guerrero.

If you are interested and may have missed an older post I did, I also took some photos of the Great Upper Church from the clerestory some months ago. Those photos are here: Basilica Clerestory 

When God gives”the Gift”

Back in college I became interested in learning to play the Pipe Organ. I had heard the thunderous resonance of that instrument and knew I wanted to play it and make the whole building shake. I had not studied piano as a child and so was starting from scratch. But I hammered away at it day after day, learning not only the hands but to play with both feet as well. In a few years I was good enough that I went on to become the daily organist at the seminary where I attended. But the truth is I never had “the gift.” I am able to play hymns accurately but learning them is hard and I am never really at ease when I play. The more elaborate organ works of Bach I will likely never play or master. It’s OK, because I am glad for what I can do.

But I must say I have always been amazed when I encounter those who have the gift, those who can play almost without effort, those for who the music seems to come from within. When they play they are not merely playing notes accurately but the music comes from deep inside. It is almost innate. I have met and worked with many who have the gift. Some are able just to hear something once and play it back almost without flaw. Others sight read music with ease. Still others play not only one instrument but many.  God just seems to put music and art inside of some people and no amount of explanation regarding how they’ve studied etc.  can fully explain the gift they have received. Studies can help refine the gift but they cannot explain it.

I remember a young woman at my last parish, Charnetta. I could put music of almost any complexity in front of her and she’d play almost without flaw. She could also play by ear and shift from gospel to classical, to modern and back again. She played with such ease and though I knew  she’d trained classically there was something on the inside, she just had the gift.

At my current parish is Kenneth who is also able to play almost anything. He reads music but can also play by ear. He tells me that when he was about five he heard his mother humming a hymn in the kitchen and then went to the piano and played it. At that moment they knew he had “the gift.”  For him too, his playing seems effortless. I rarely hear him practice he just knows the music innately it seems. From classical to gospel, to soulful spirituals and back again. I admire many things about his playing but perhaps what I find most fascinating is the ease with which he transposes. He will play the opening hymn at the organ and gradually take us up the scale, never missing a note. Kenneth too spent many years studying  music and has his Masters degree but in the end what he most has is the gift.

I remember attending piano recitals as a kid. Most of the kids who played were somewhere between dreadful and mediocre. But there were always one or two who sat down at the keyboard and you knew they were different. They had it inside, they had the gift.

It was the same with art. There were just some kids when I was growing up who knew how to draw. It was not that they had gone to art school, they just had the gift. I would marvel as they took a simple piece of paper and pencil and just went to work. And they did it with such ease, never erasing, never struggling, just drawing. And whether it was a simple cartoon, or something more detailed it was clear to me that they had something on the inside. I once asked a friend of mine named Ingo who had the gift to draw me a picture. “Of what?” he asked. “Oh I don’t know, maybe a farmer at his farm.” In less then five minutes he handed me a picture and it was good too! Ingo had the gift.

I guess the closest I can say that I come to having a gift is in the area of preaching and teaching. I love to do both and do them almost without effort. I never struggle with what to say, if anything it is what NOT to say since I go on too long. I often experience the gift most powerfully at 7:00 am weekday morning masses. I may be struggling to wake up, even dosing during the reading but when it comes time to preach I am suddenly awake and firing on all cylinders. And I know it isn’t me, its the Lord, it’s the gift. Sure enough when the homily is over I’m back to being sleepy and fumbling through the sacramentary as I drowsily look for the right page. (I’m not a morning person).

Don’t miss God’s gifts, in yourself or in others. And most often they can’t be explained in any other way. They are simply gifts. They are inside, deep in the soul. Years of study can help perfect them but the basic gift and ability seem to be right there from the start in those who have “the gift.” It is a uniquely human gift as well. Animals do not compose music or perform it, they do not sing, they do not paint or sculpt. Such gifts are uniquely human and part of our glory which God has bestowed. The gift and the glory are God’s but he has chosen to share them with some of us.

This video features a little girl named Emily who has the gift to play the piano. It was first noticed at age two. Emily, when asked how she can play so well says, “I don’t know, it just comes out of me.” — the Gift.

This video illustrates a young woman who received the gift to paint quite clearly from God. Even more beautifully she received the gift of faith as you will see.