we find that we are given a choice, not an easy one, but a decision to focus on the beauty of the Church, a beauty that is all love, truth and goodness
Recently I had heard that a beloved Boston parish parochial vicar and a newly ordained priest was moving to Sydney, Australia to study for a Doctorate in Theological Aesthetics (Study of the Beauty of God). I was very impressed that this young man would commit his life to study and then communicate to the world the Beauty of God.
Hans Ur von Balthasar wrote in Vol. 1: The Glory of God, saying; “Beauty is the word that shall be our first. Beauty is the last thing which the thinking intellect dares to approach, since only it dances as an uncontained splendor around the double constellation of the true and the good and their inseparable relation to one another…We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. 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.”
I found this passage interesting because this week I had thought much about the ugliness versus the Beauty of the Church. It is hard not to consider the Church in recent times without feeling mistrust, cynicism, disappointment, apathy and fear. It is the ugliness or evil that has permeated its Church hierarchy that precipitates a collective “Ugh” from well-meaning Catholics. We feel a heaviness of heart, loss of hope and discouragement. But if we listen to the words of Hans Ur Balthasar, we find that we are given a choice, not an easy one, but a decision to focus on the beauty of the Church, a beauty that is all love, truth and goodness.
Tom Peterson, author of Catholics Come Home and an international EWTN speaker who made a presentation at our parish last Monday night, told a story about a Vietnamese mother who came to see him. This woman was concerned about the soul of her 22-year-old son who would not attend Mass. She asked Tom to talk and encourage him to come back to Mass. Tom did, unsuccessfully, but after a year of trying he received a phone call from the young man asking if he could meet him at Mass. Tom asked what had changed his mind?
The young man said that he had been fishing and praying for a sign from God asking if he was listening. Moments later this young man reeled in a crucifix! He said that he had been a member of a Vietnamese gang and had done many things that were contrary to goodness. He asked to go to Confession and that very day received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist!
The Beauty of God is expressed in the Person of Jesus Christ. We receive Beauty each time we receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Today make a choice, to stay focused on the true , good, and beautiful. Amen!
Please join us for Adoration every Friday until 3pm and every Saturday morning from 8am-9am in the Chapel.