We Touched Beauty, We Touched God

The Fifth Spiritual Art Meeting

Under the auspices of the Dominican family in Slovakia the fifth Spiritual art meeting “A Touch of Beauty” took place in Slovakia 17 -19 Feb 2012. It was organised by Sr. Blažeja Furjeľová, OP and Fr. Mannes Marušák, OP.

Last year we discovered the qualities and value of silence – the silence where God speaks to us. The topic of this year was “The Simplicity of a Woman to the Very Roots of Her Hair.’ Sr. Blažeja explained the choice of this topic as follows: “After the silence, the woman experienced a deeper silence internalizing her pain and love in a simple way.”

The program of "A Touch of Beauty" had many parts of common prayer: the Office, the celebration of the Eucharist, lectures, workshops and presentations.

During the workshop about 150 participants from all over Slovakia had a chance to explore the mystery of beauty through word, music, film, photography, painting, wood, clay, jewellery, textiles and land art. The meeting was marked by a spirit of sharing, openness and acceptance. For some participants this meeting created a desire for deeper discussion and more intensive life with God.

Below are several expressions of participants:

“‘A Touch of Beauty’ is about the(sic) touch. About touching the inside. About the touch of the heart to the heart of another and that is the most beautiful way. For me it was an inspiration over the next days as for me it was a return to humanity.” Alica

“Everybody can be an artist. The space for art opens the depths of our hearts and helps us meets (sic) one another (person to person). It is important to reveal things in their depth, truth and goodness. If you have the peace of an angel in your heart, you are able to perceive the great depth of beauty and goodness in the world. And that is what you cannot keep just for yourself but you want to convey it to others through art...” Fr Dominik, OP

“We would like to say thank you so much for such an amazing weekend which was spent on ‘A touch of Beauty’. In the beginning we were a little bit worried about how we non-artists could integrate with the others but soon we did not have any problem with that. We were, each of us, immediately absorbed by the creative atmosphere that was everywhere around us. In the end we were able to ‘touch the beauty’ assisted by the willing help of our animators (sic) lectures. Other lectures about a lot of new and interesting things also engaged our attention. We felt really good in the friendly environment and we look forward to being again ‘artists’ although we are ordinary students, athletes and sometimes slackers." The young people from Dunajská Lužná

“I am grateful I could join in ‘A Touch of Beauty’. In spite of the large number of people I felt like a member of the family. I perceived that we came to meet one another, together create something new and talk or just be together. We wanted to have time for something of beauty without rushing somewhere. I felt that God was with us and among us in his goodness and beauty...”  Sr. M. Savia, OP

“‘A Touch of Beauty’ cannot be accurately defined because we cannot hold (it) in our hands. We just wanted to create a space for it. I believe that beauty has the power to transform us. Final beauty is God. This is the reason why we organise such meetings.” Fr. Mannes, OP

“‘A Touch of Beauty’ - if that meeting had any definition, it would not be so attractive. ‘A Touch of Beauty’ is about spontaneity, creativity, and especially about the openness of heart and love where people can feel like one big family. Although most of the participants did not know each other, there was a tangible sense of something transcendental and mystical in the atmosphere. There was no necessity to know everything about everybody because it in was a meeting where you felt that God was in the middle. People got to know one another better. It was enough to open our minds and hearts.” Sr. M. Blažeja, OP