This morning “On the Square,” R.R. Reno makes an impassioned plea for the necessity of art. In the face of “diseases to cure,” and “environmental disasters to prevent,” it can be tempting to think of art as a luxury we can’t afford. Quite the contrary, Reno argues in Art and Human Flourishing , we cannot afford to live without art:

Art can train our imaginations to be more retentive and receptive to reality, and respectful of it as well. Imagination, properly developed, stretches our sense of the real—or more accurately it allows the depth and breadth of what is real to stretch us. The effect is a more capacious, more absorptive sense of life, one capable of renewing the solidity of our memories of the past and giving reality to our dreams for the future.