Patching a Coat
Patching a Coat
There is a holiness and a power in the things that belong to holy people. If your making is worship, if you make because you love what you set out to make and because you love men, but most of all because you love God, then you will be trebly a maker, and your work will serve humanity because it will help to lead humanity back to God.
Think of some very humble and ordinary form of making, like the sewing of a patch on a coat. You can regard it as drudgery, and do it with careless or perhaps with savage impatience; and then you turn it into a job....
You can regard the patch very differently. You can do it with pride in your workmanship, so that it becomes a thing of beauty; then you are already an artist. You can do it with love, and so turn it into love-making; and then you are twice an artist. You can do it as an act of worship of God– “I patch this coat for this poor child for whom I am for ever responsible, as a part of our life together that you have given us and that we turn into worship of you” –and then you are three times an artist; you are completely alive. And why should not every action that you do be like this? But we are enslaved by a system that despises art and has no room for love and reverence; and so we can be excused if we think sometimes that the end draws near; the soil is stale.
Unless there can be a rebirth our world is doomed; and it must be a rebirth of reverence.
Father Gerald Vann, O.P.
(Fr. Vann († 1963) was an English Dominican and a popular preacher, lecturer and author.)