Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson

1/25/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

You have shown me Beauty today, a beauty greater than any of the paintings in this museum, the beauty of two people unashamedly hungry for God. Because God and His Son answer your question

Father squeezed their hands and slowly let go, saying, "You have my blessing, but more importantly all beautiful things you love will no longer bring you sadness but the fullness of joy. All I ask you to do is tell others, "Look to Jesus Christ not only for truth and goodness, but for Beauty: The unity of all three in Christ creates a splendor that illumines the Truth and draws every person towards the Good."

Beautiful Flowers

Beautiful Flowers

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/25/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: beauty, Liturgy, love, relationships, priesthood, culture, enthsuiasm, renewal, reform, Catholic Culture, rubrics, worship, Holy Mass, Divine Liturgy, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Deal W. Hudson


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - A man once asked a Christian friend where he could find the Truth. The friend replied without hesitation, "Look to Jesus Christ who is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

A woman once asked a Christian friend where she could find the Good. The friend quickly replied, "Look at the life of Jesus Christ who is "the Word made flesh."

A young couple once asked a Christian friend where they could find Beauty.  The friend hesitated to answer. Not knowing what to say, he said, "Well, I find the greatest beauty in nature and in the works of the great painters and composers."

The man and the woman went away satisfied and curious to learn more about Jesus Christ.

The couple went away dissatisfied because they already knew about beautiful paintings, beautiful music, and the beauty of nature.  They wanted to know what was behind all the beauty they beheld.

Thinking that Christians could not help them answer their question, they asked other people where to find Beauty itself.  Everyone told them about about the things they considered beautiful, but scoffed at the idea of Beauty itself.

The couple became unhappy that they could not find an answer; they were desperate to find out why their lives were filled with joy when they encountered beautiful things. "Surely," they said to each other, "the power of these beautiful things must come from something beyond any one of them."

As time passed, the couple gradually found their enjoyment of beautiful things started to wane. The beauty of this film or that piece of music gave them temporary joy, but it soon gave way to a deepening sorrow. They started to avoid the beautiful things that once had given them joy, because now they felt only sadness. Everything beautiful left them wondering about what they were looking for but had never found.

The couple decided to take a last visit, a goodbye visit, to the museum they loved most, in fact, where they had met and fallen in love. As they entered their favorite room of paintings, they were surprised to see an elderly priest, wearing a beret, standing and staring at the picture where they had met. They stood behind him for a while and looked at one another, knowing they each had the same question to ask.

"Father," the husband asked, gently touching his arm, "can we ask you a question?" The priest slowly turned around, a broad smile filled his face when he saw the couple. "Of course, ask me whatever you want, but remember I'm an old man and don't have many answers." 

The priest's words put the couple at ease. Then the husband looked at his wife, and she asked the question they had stopped asking long ago, "Where can we find Beauty itself, not beautiful things, we know where they are - right here, as a matter of fact - but where their power comes from, the power they all have in common?"

The priest's eyes glistened as he heard the question, and he heaved an almost imperceptible sigh of relief, as if this was a question he had been waiting to hear all his life. He asked the couple to follow him into the next room where there were fewer people and less noise. He pointed to a corner where no one was standing. 

He asked, "I get the impression you have asked this question before but not found a satisfactory answer?" The husband answered, "yes," and then told the priest the entire story, including the growing sadness in their lives. "So let me be clear, you did ask this question to Christians, and they told you to go to museums, concerts, movie theaters, and the like?" "Yes, Father," they replied.

For a moment, the priest's own face grew dark, as if he was cursing something far away, but catching himself he smiled again and spoke very softly and slowly: "It saddens me that you have gone so long without an answer to your question.  I'm sorry to admit that too often Jesus is not allowed to answer when it comes to questions about Beauty."

The couple reached out and held each other's hand, a gesture the priest noticed, and reaching out he put his hand on top of theirs drawing them all closer together. "Let me tell you something," he said, "You have shown me Beauty today, a beauty greater than any of the paintings in this museum, the beauty of two people unashamedly hungry for God. Because God and His Son answer your question."

The couple were touched by the priest's kind words but did not yet understand what he'd meant by his answer.  "Father," said the wife, "how can Jesus and His Father be the answer to our question about Beauty"?

"Beauty, like the Good and the True, are perfections of our being, of all being, do you know what I mean by that?" the priest asked. The husband answered, "Truth and goodness, we understand, but isn't Beauty something subjective, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder?" and he smiled.

"Beauty, indeed, does come through the eyes, and it is beheld by the senses, that is true," said the priest. "But it's not subjective, no more subjective than truth or goodness, which come from God through his creation. Beauty, too, was part of His creation, because God Himself is perfect Beauty."

The couple looked stunned, they both looked at the priest, then each other. Nothing else needed to be said, because their faces shown with their understanding.  "Thank you, Father," said the wife.  "We are so grateful to have met you here and for answering our question."

Father squeezed their hands and slowly let go, saying, "You have my blessing, but more importantly all beautiful things you love will no longer bring you sadness but the fullness of joy. All I ask you to do is tell others, "Look to Jesus Christ not only for truth and goodness, but for Beauty: The unity of all three in Christ creates a splendor that illumines the Truth and draws every person towards the Good."

Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D

-----
Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.This column and subsequent contributions are an excerpt from a forthcoming book. Dr. Hudson's new radio show, Church and Culture, will begin broadcasting in February on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More U.S.

A journey to the land of the free: Part One -- Beaten and scared young children flee violence and turn to the United States for hope Watch

Image of Many young immigrants have no more fight in them when they decide to cross the border, they're only trying to survive.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blistered feet and filthy, blood-stained skin is the forlorn image of immigrants preparing to cross the border. With hopeful hearts and anxious minds, immigrants, of all ages, assemble to make the leap into their promise land. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most ... continue reading


OBAMACARE DOES NOT WORK! Vermont gives up free healthcare plan as too expensive Watch

Image of Vermont's governor announced that a planned universal healthcare program for the state has been cancelled because the massive tax hikes would devastate the state's economy.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, announced that he was canceling his longtime dream to create a single-payer health care system for his state. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The announcement came on December 17, citing problems with paying for the Green ... continue reading


The disgusting new fact of American life: More than 46 million Americans on food stamps for 37 straight month Watch

Image of Obama has been in office for about 70 months, and 37 of those months have seen the most amount of Americans on food stamps, ever!

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is self-evident that President Obama continues to undermine the abilities of the lower class, enforcing government-reliance on those who can least afford it. The number of Americans on food stamps under Obama has continued along its record breaking path, as, ... continue reading


Faith in the United States' race relations hits a strikingly low point after no indictment verdicts Watch

Image of 57 percent of American's say race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Those are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, a man who fought long and hard for a better today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A land where discrimination no longer prevails is a reality that seems no ... continue reading


The Pope, the Pets, the Paparazzi and the Propaganda Media

Image of Pope Francis pets a dog

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The passing on of this complete fabrication, as well as the embellishment which accompanied it, were not simply a matter of the secular press failing to comprehend this Pope. In fact, religious news sources, both Catholic and Protestant, jumped in. This all ... continue reading


Why is he so upset? Because of the secret Republican time bomb in the government funding bill Watch

Image of The federal government has funding through the 2015 fiscal year, but Republicans will have many opportunities to fight the president's programs in that time.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Senate has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill, aimed to fund nearly the whole of the federal government through the 2015 fiscal year, ending weeks of drama in Congress and relieving doubts that the government might be shut down again while Democrats and ... continue reading


You know about the 'Bishop of Bling' but do American clergy have the same problem too? Watch

Image of The Bishop of Bling was sacked after he spent $43 million renovating his home.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has called for "a Church which is poor and for the poor." However, not every member of the clergy may have read the memo. A number of high-ranking Church officials in the United States live in lavish homes, sometimes bordering on the scandalous. LOS ... continue reading


Water leak leads to discovery of 1795 time capsule - left by Paul Revere! Watch

Image of A worker holds the time capsule left by the revolutionaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Paul Revere, the fearless revolutionary who mounted his horse to declare that "The British are coming! The British are coming!" has left an enduring national legacy - in both deed and actions. Excitement is mounting with the discovery of a time capsule left by Revere ... continue reading


The Gender Identity Executive Order of President Obama is a Trojan Horse

Image of Most of us are familiar with the story of the Trojan Horse used by Greek soldiers to take the City of Troy. After a multi-year, unsuccessful effort to take the City, the Greeks pretended to retreat. However, Greek soldiers had left behind a large wooden horse. The Trojans found what they thought were spoils of battle, a large wooden horse. They decided to pull it into the City as a trophy of their victory. Hidden inside were an elite group of soldiers. As soon as the crowds gathered to celebrate the victory, they came out of the horse and destroyed the City from the inside.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

To equate how one engages in sexual activities with a member of the same sex - or whether one has sexual attraction to a member of the same sex - with a properly protected status such as race, creed, gender or national origin, in the enforcement of federal ... continue reading


America's best hope for 2016 is an old face: Republican's need Romney to run Watch

Image of While Mitt Romney has not said he will run for president in 2016, those close to him suggest that he will, and he is confident that he can win.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Republican party is doing a great deal of soul searching ahead of the 2016 presidential election season. It's will be tough finding a candidate that appeals to the small but vocal Tea Party, the aging and reactionary ultraconservatives and the large and ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 18th, 2014 Image

St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter