The Christocentric Life--Beauty Print
Thursday, 17 December 2009 10:32

Written by Winston Elliott III

Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance. We can be sure that whoever sneers at her name as if she were the ornament of a bourgeois past--whether he admits it or not--can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love. -Hans Urs von Balthasar
We who pray for the grace to grow closer to our Lord may find an expanded relationship to him through beauty. As Balthasar points out to deemphasize beauty in our pursuit of truth and goodness is to risk losing all three of the transcendentals. Let us pray to know our Lord in his Holy Scripture and in the teachings of the Church. And also in the beauty of the liturgy and our worship. Many wonderful works of art, literature and music have the power to draw us nearer to God if we would welcome them into our lives.
In this season when the commercial nature of the Christmas season often confronts us with schlock and parodies of real beauty we can focus on the love of Christ as it is expressed in true beauty. A few suggestions: spend some time looking into Image (www.imagejournal.org). This a very fine journal and website dedicated to faith and beauty found in literature, music, and art. The Beauty of Holiness and the Holiness of Beauty, by John Saward, is a fine book which explores beauty as found in the lives of the saints and in the works of Christian art.
Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that "like the rest of Christian Revelation, the liturgy is inherently linked to beauty; it is veritatis splendor (the splendor of the truth)." He goes on to say "in Jesus we contemplate beauty and splendor at their source...no mere aestheticism, but the concrete way in which the truth of God's love in Christ encounters us, attracts us and delights us, enabling us to emerge from ourselves and drawing us towards our true vocation, which is love." --Sacramentum caritatis
[cross-posted at "The Christocentric Life"]