stbarbarabadthief2The art-world is re-embracing sacred art, as evidenced by recent sales at the major auction houses and art fairs. Even the “bad thief” (bottom photo) has a following.

Top photo: St. Barbara, 16th Century

Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, “Sir, will there be only a few saved?” He said to them, “Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed. Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us’ but he will answer, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will find yourself saying, ‘We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets’ but he will reply, ‘I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men! Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast of the kingdom of God. Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those first who will be last.” Luke 13: 22-30

Today, many Christians are being taught that we are saved by faith—and faith is a gift, therefore, we don’t have to do anything because Jesus did it all on the cross. In fact we are saved by faith (properly understood as our response to grace). Yes, we have been redeemed, but we still need to consciously work out our salvation, with our Lord. “Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but ‘in body’ not ‘in heart.’ CCC #837