Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson

1/25/2014 (6 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 (6 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 July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Bridget of Sweden, Marriage and Family, and the Need for Canonized Married Saints Watch

Image of St Bridget of Sweden, her husband Ulf, and all the modern Popes call Christian married couples to become the 'Sweet and Smiling Face of the Church' in this age. This is an age which is desperately in need of all kinds of saints. I suggest we particularly need examples of married, canonized Saints. That is precisely because this is an age where faithful marriage is now counter-cultural. We need examples of men and women who not only embraced it in Christ, but lived it as a but a path to heroic virtue.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The clear teaching of the Bible, the Christian tradition and the re-emphasis of the last Council in the Catholic Church, the Second Vatican Council, make clear - we are ALL called to holiness in life. That  is what the Catholic Church regularly refers to as ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Obama demands that illegals be allowed to enter U.S. Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of illegal, unaccompanied minors have flooded into the United States since 2014 began, often escaping violence in war torn Central American countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's administration is considering whether or not it will allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras and other war-torn Central American states to enter into the United States illegally and without crossing into the country ... continue reading


Are you ready for the next dust bowl? California is! Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the Colorado River Basin is rapidly running out of water, which may be disastrous for the seven states it supplies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a report published by the American space agency and the University of California, the water crisis that is punishing the southwestern United States is likely to worsen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report found that the prime source of water ... continue reading


PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin Watch

Image of When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... 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 Kings 3:5, 7-12
5 At Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130
57 My task, I have said, Yahweh, is to keep your ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-52
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 8:28-30
28 We are well aware that God works with those who ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 27th, 2014 Image

St. Pantaleon
July 27: St Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. ... 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