Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson

1/25/2014 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More U.S.

Some conservative Catholics view Pope Francis' positions on some 'liberal' issues with increasing alarm Watch

Image of Among conservative Catholics in the United States, Pope Francis' favorable ratings fell from 72 percent last year to 45 percent in July. His favorable rating among all Catholics dropped from 89 percent to 71 percent.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis currently enjoys a very high approval rating among catholic in the United States. A Pew Research Poll reported an 86 percent approval rating. However, there are misgivings among more conservative Catholics that the Pope is straying into economic ... continue reading


Hurricane Katrina: Ten Years Later Watch

Image of Hurricane Katrina tore communities apart.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hurricane Katrina left nearly 2,000 people dead and thousands more were homeless and wounded. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused America's most expensive natural disaster, with a repair bill of $150 billion. Entire roads were washed ... continue reading


PASTORPOCALYPSE - At least 400 church leaders to RESIGN Sunday after Ashley Madison accounts revealed Watch

Image of At least 400 pastors are expected to resign this Sunday.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This Sunday could be a distressing day for millions of churchgoers across the country. As many as 400 pastors, some of them leading megachurch congregations, may resign following the Ashley Madison leak. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hypocrisy can be found in ... continue reading


Christian man beaten to death by Muslim refugees in Maine Watch

Image of Freddy Akoa, the victim of a savage beating by three men.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An assumed Christian man was found dead in his apartment with a bloody Bible near his head. The murder is believed to have been committed by three Muslim refugees who attended a party at the dead man's home in Portland, Maine. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


'We're going to get through this together': WDBJ stands together the day after the tragic live-shooting of reporter and cameraman Watch

Image of Colleagues hug during the moment of silence for their fallen team members.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

WDBJ-TV station grieves the loss of Alison Parker and Adam Ward the morning after their on-air murders.  Los Angeles, California (Catholic Online) - Thursday morning was emotional, as WDBJ-TV anchor Kim McBroom joined hands with anchor Steve Grand, who came in ... continue reading


Colorado movie theater assassin James Holmes will never step outside of a prison - ever Watch

Image of Obsessed with killing people since he was a teenager, James Holmes said he studied neuroscience in part to fix his own

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On July 20, 2012, James Eagan Holmes, now 27, walked into an Aurora, Colorado movie theater during a late-night showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." He opened fire, killing 12 people and wounded 70. Holmes will never step outside a prison ever again - he was sentenced ... continue reading


Bizarre, twisted story trails behind Virginia TV reporter killer Vester Flanagan Watch

Image of Failed TV news anchor Vester Flanagan was notorious for his

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Stories have come forward regarding 41-year-old former TV news reporter Vester Flanagan, accused in the on-air shooting deaths of 24-year-old WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old camera operator Adam Ward. Flanagan, who committed suicide after the ... continue reading


Vatican did not consent to sponsor Palestinian flag initiative at United Nations Watch

Image of Only member states' flags are currently eligible to fly at U.N. headquarters.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems that certain parties leapt to conclusions too readily... The Vatican has requested that the Palestinian U.N. mission to remove all references to the Holy See from a draft resolution. The Palestinians have put forth a formal request to the U.N. General Assembly ... continue reading


Now legal for police to fly drones armed with weapons in North Dakota Watch

Image of Police drone illustrating abilities to release tear gas from above.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the last-minute push of pro-police lobbyists, it is now legal for the North Dakora law enforcers to fly drones equipped with "less than lethal" weapons such as tasers, pepper spray and tear gas. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - During a hearing in ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:1, 3, 4-5, 11-12, 13
1 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 31st, 2015 Image

St. Raymond Nonnatus
August 31: Raymond was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain. He was delivered ... 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