Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Beauty May Be the Transcendental That Can Get Through"--Bishop Conley on The New Evangelization

While God “speaks to our souls through intellectual truth and moral goodness” in addition to beauty, “these forms of communication have become problematic. Many people, especially in modern Western culture, are too intellectually and morally confused to receive such a message." 
Because of this confusion, beauty may be the transcendental which “can get through, where other forms of divine communication may not,” the bishop taught.
“When we begin with beauty, this can then lead to a desire to want to know the truth of the thing that is drawing us, a desire to participate in it. And then the truth can inspire us to do the good, to strive after virtue.” 
Bishop Conley said that “clearly, beauty has a major role to play in the New Evangelization” and enumerated three ways in which this can be done: through liturgy; appreciation of historic Christian culture; and openness to beauty in all its forms. 
He called beauty in liturgy the “most essential” point, noting that “worship … is the basis of Christian culture” and pointing to examples of great converts who were struck by the solemn rites and extraordinary chants of the Catholic Church. 
The bishop’s second recommendation was to become familiar with the beauty of historic Christian culture, such as Gregorian chant, in order to help others who appreciate it to understand the Christian beauty that inspired it.  
Finally, he invited Catholics to “open our own minds to beauty, in all its manifestations” in both nature and culture, which will help us to understand beauty as “an earthly reflection of God's glory.” more here from CNA