Beauty prepares us for heaven

Friday: from the archives

Wonder and Beauty

“[T]he general Catholic drift in the United States is not, to put it gently, toward the beautiful.  That’s not just an aesthetic problem.  It’s a serious religious and theological problem.

“Why? Because beauty helps prepare us to be the kind of people who can be comfortable in heaven—the kind of people who can live with God forever.  Beautiful things and beautiful music draw us out of ourselves and into an encounter with a truth that’s beyond us, yet accessible to our senses.  I’ve talked a lot in these letters about self-giving, not self-assertion, as the royal road to human happiness and spiritual growth.  Well, there are few greater obstacles to self-giving than self-absorption.  And the beauty that, by its very nature, draws us out of ourselves is an antidote to self-absorption.  The beauty of Beatrice drew Dante out of himself and into paradise, and into an encounter with the beauty…

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