When the world becomes repressive and ugly and mean, we need form and beauty and balance and music--that's when artists feel most pressed into service.
Contemplative life is the putting together of vision and action. Vision alone, meditation alone, is not true contemplation. We must put vision into action. Not just monks, but all of us are called to contemplation in this full sense. If we want to live healthy lives, we have to build into our daily life moments of vision, and let our actions be formed by that vision.