The Ministry of Art

To call . . . a man's rapture in great tragedy or exquisite music, by the same name, enjoyment, is little more than a pun. I still maintain that what enraptures and transports is always good.
-- C.S. Lewis, "Different Tastes in Literature"

Every morning shortly before ten o'clock, we turn off "Sesame Street" and turn on NPR and listen to the music for a couple of hours. This morning, I was sitting in my chair reading, and when I got to those lines in my edition of Lewis's "On Stories" and Other Essays, as if on cue, Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers" from The Nutcracker Suite came on the stereo. I turned it up and closed my eyes.

I've heard this piece plenty of times (so have you, I guarantee it). Today it brought me to tears.
It is now at the top of a very short list of the highlights of my week.

Mere entertainment is a neutral good. But art that merely entertains cannot bring the transcendence and rapture good art can. It does not minister to a man's spirit like capital-g Good art does.