Let the vibrant art of Laura James lead you through scripture
James’ compositions challenge and inspire toward a deeper understanding.
By John Christman
Liturgists are sometimes fond of repeating an old theological principle: Lex orandi, lex credendi. Broadly, this means, “The way we pray shapes what we believe.” The more varied one’s experience with differing Christian liturgical traditions, the more this truth is borne out. How we pray not only shapes but also proclaims our understanding of God and of ourselves.
Through her art, Laura James has been shaping Catholic worship in the United States for more than 20 years. In parishes throughout the country, as the opening hymn rings out, a Book of the Gospels (Liturgy Training Publications) is held aloft with Laura James’ imagery proudly emblazoned across its cover. As the Word is proclaimed, her sacred images illuminate its pages. We see Mary joyously greet Elizabeth in a verdant landscape on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. We see red glowing tongues of fire descend upon a diverse group of disciples at Pentecost. Each powerful image is a unique visual proclamation of the gospel and shapes the faith of the local community.