PILGRIMAGE TO THE MUSEUM

Auth finds much to like in Realism, Impressionism, and modern art. He gives a fair read to Picasso, Seurat, Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock. He celebrates Salvador Dali’s 1954 “Crucifixion,” which depicts an ascendant, cosmic Christ.

But he’s also clear that the soul searching for God finds little sustenance in art grounded in atheism and secularism.

PIANIST MARIA YUDINA: HOLY FOOL

“Yudina was a strange person, and very much a loner.” “Strange things kept happening to her.” “Yudina saw music in a mystical light. For instance, she saw Bach’s Goldberg Variations as a series of illustrations to the Holy Bible,” Shostakovich observed. “She always played as though she were giving a sermon.”

STRANNIK

Pilgrimage doesn’t necessarily involve traveling, or traveling into the country. The journey is to our own hearts, and can thus take place in the poustinia (a sparse hut or room) of our apartments, or by walking through the streets of a city. Wherever we go, we go with bare feet—in spiritual poverty—and because we end up walking into the fragmented stones and sharp rocks of other people’s hearts, our feet get bloody.

INSIDE MADONNA HOUSE’S LAY COMMUNITY OF LOVE

I visited the house in Combermere several years ago and was awed by the community’s self-sufficiency. They grow or raise almost all of their own food. St. Benedict’s Acres, the community farm, boasts vegetable beds, cows, chickens, and sheep whose wool is sheared, cleaned, dyed, spun, woven and knit into products for gift shops.