What Was Done Before by Anthony Esolen

Illuminations

What Was Done Before

by Anthony Esolen

For several years I've been delighted to write in this column about the beauty, the liturgical propriety, the scriptural profundity, and the sheer might of the great hymns of the Church. Yet once in a while someone asks me whether I think that the only good art is the old. Why can't we have good things now? Have people become incapable of writing hymns, just because they were born too late?

I don't believe so. What was done before can be done again.

That said, I think we are apt to underestimate how much of the cultural foundation has crumbled away, and . . .