A Note To Our Subscribers – A New Look to The Way of Beauty

19 04 2011

Dear patient subscriber

This weekend we introduced a new look to The Way of Beauty blog. We hope that you like it. You will see that there is more information readily available and more easily accessible about what we are doing and the connected programs at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

In a couple of weeks, we will launch the shop on the new The Way of Beauty, Facebook page. We also hope to start offering resources to help people to live The Way of Beauty: in time for example, you will start to see downloadable documents and recording as aids singing the Liturgy of the Hours, for example. This will happen gradually over the coming weeks and months.

For those who just like to read the blog postings, this will mean very little difference to you, except in this transitionary period, when there have been a few technical hiccoughs. You have recieved notifications of postings, for example, which went up accidentally because I had forgotten that it was wrongly scheduled on the old one, when it should have been scheduled for later (in a couple of weeks) on the new one (eg Japanese Gardens). I apologise for these. Our web designer handed everything to me on a plate with simple instructions, but I still manage to mess it up. So please be patient with me on this. I will get the hang of it all very soon!

So please keep reading and to see the latest piece, which is now up, on the new play about John Paul II, follow the link here! The address for the site is the same as previously http://thewayofbeauty.org

Thank you


David Clayton


Compunction of the Heart – A Form of Meditation for Lent

29 03 2011

From: The Rule of St Benedict, Chapter 49 ‘The Observance of Lent’ ‘We urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure and to wash away in this holy season the negligences of other times. This we can do in a fitting manner by refusing to indulge in evil habits and by devoting ourselves to prayer with tears, to reading, to compunction of heart and self denial’

A small group from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts went for an evening Lenten retreat at the Benedictine Abbey in Still River, Massachusetts. As in our last visit (link here) we arrived for Vespers at 6pm, and then were the guests of the community for dinner. After dinner we had a talk from one of the brothers of the community and after individual reading or prayer we went to Compline before returning home. Just as before, it was a great experience for all of us. Read the rest of this entry »

The Pythagorean Prayer of the Cosmos

22 03 2011

The powerful prayer for creativity and inspiration and joy, which is perfected in the Church (Others in series on Divine Office here) Since the ancient Greeks there has been the idea that the happy life is the result of a good life, and a good life is a beautiful life. In the 6th century BC the philosopher Pythagoras (the same one who has a geometric theorem named after him) gathered around him a religious group of ‘Pythagoreans’ who sought to order their lives according to this principle of beauty and order. They drew their inspiration from their observations of the beauty of the cosmos. When viewed in the way of the Pythagoreans, making our actions and work beautiful becomes a guiding principle in life, just like morality. Morality tends to guide by placing boundaries on our activity – it tells us what not to do. This is necessary. Beauty, however, complements this by providing a positive principle of choice. Read the rest of this entry »

Praying with the Cosmos – the Ancient Treasury of the Divine Office I

23 02 2011

An ancient beautiful prayer that leads us to joy, and opens us up to inspiration and creativity; part 1, part 2 here
The Divine Office (also called the Liturgy of the Hours), is one of the four pillars of the spiritual life of the new liturgical movement. This is the first in a regular series that highlight the riches of the the liturgy of the Church and how it is at the root of Western culture.

‘The Mass is a precious jewel and that jewel has its setting, which is the Divine Office. The Divine Office also has its setting, which is the cosmos.’ Read the rest of this entry »

The Practice of Lectio Divina – a Source of Joy (2)

15 02 2011

Scripture, Part of the Foundation of Joy (part two; read part one, here) I am not an expert in this at all, but I thought that my experiences of trying (and often failing) to learn the technique and practice it, might be a starting point for others who wish to make a beginning also. Also I would encourage any of you who have experience to offer any helpful thoughts for the benefit of the readership… Read the rest of this entry »

Pilgrimage to a Forgotten Ancient Church in Matera, Italy

11 02 2011

Matera is in southern Italy (just inland from the arch in the boot-shaped country). In the later classical period and through to the Middle Ages it has been occupied by Romans, Lombards, Byzantines, Germans and Normans and the handover was usually less than peaceful. The area is known for its underground churches, rather like the catacombs but dating much later. My former teacher when I was studying the academic method in Florence, Matt Collins, now lives there. Matt is an American and one of the few people around that I know who has applied his academic training to painting in the baroque style (as distinct from the 19th century). As well as oils, he is an expert in the technique of fresco and runs regular classes in Italy teaching this ancient and very durable technique.  Read the rest of this entry »

Glory Be to God for the Brompton Oratory

15 01 2011

The magazine Dappled Things asked me to write about an occasion when I had been affected by the beauty of a sacred place. I decided to write about my first ever experience of the liturgy at the London Oratory (also known at the Brompton Oratory). This sublime experience opened the door first to my conversion and then, beyond that inspired me to try to contribute to the re-establishment of a Catholic culture of beauty rooted in the liturgy. (I have always had an attitude that if you aim high then even if you only make it half way, that that’s still quite good.)

Normally people have to subscribe to their online edition, but they decided to make an exception for this special edition. It is one of the features under the heading Sacred Places.

Read the rest of this entry »