Sandro Magister yesterday posted an article titled "Everyone to the Sacred Theatre of Heaven. A Theologian Act as Guide", drawn from the work of theologian Enrico Maria Radaelli. Radaelli is a Catholic lay theologian whose new book Ingresso alla Bellezza (Entryway to Beauty) is described by Magister as a new book by a new author of the first rank. Radaelli's website has a page with more information about the book.
Magister includes an English translation of Radaelli's article published in Italian on February 4 and 5, 2008 in the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano. The original Italian article is included in Radaelli's website with a different title, "L'Architettura del Bello e del Vero" (The Architecture of the Beautiful and the True). The original title was "In una cupola il segreto del secondo Nome del Figlio di Dio" (In a cupola, the secret of the second Name of the Son of God).
In that article, Radaelli wrote about church architecture as an expression of the divine mysteries: Trinitarian theology, the Son of God as both Image and Word, beauty as the appearance of the invisible truth. Radaelli wrote of the cupola and vault of a church in Rome as a viewing of the "secret theater of heaven".
Speaking of the liturgy in the context of such architecture, he quoted Carmelite Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity:
"The liturgy descends and Christ, priest and victim, is made substantially present. And the Church, with the wisdom of her spouse and as mother of those called to the sacrosanct mysteries, takes care always to make the flock aware of this reality: not only by teaching the most correct doctrine to it, but also by bringing it almost to touch the reality that is procured, placing it, as Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity used to say, 'face to face, although in darkness,' with the Glory of God."
Radaelli proposes reinventing the cupola in contemporary architecture, while preserving its "sacred character as 'theater of the Heavens." It would be, he says, a "truly 'trinoliturgical' art, to render to the Truth the most appropriate divine Beauty."