Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Monday, May 03, 2010

Beauty; Part V

"But what if man had eyes to see the true beauty-the divine beauty, I mean, pure and dear and unalloyed, not clogged with the pollutions of mortality and all the colors and vanities of human life-thither looking, and holding converse with the true beauty simple and divine? Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may. Would that be an ignoble life?" Plato 

"Worship God in the beauty of holiness" is a phrase used 4 times in the Bible.

St. Augustine said of beauty "Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked." There is little 'beauty' in a wooden cross, by itself, however, as a symbol it is rich in the beauty of meaning and is the cause of distress and emotion. The cross is a vision of the beautiful mind of God. In the cross we see the justice of God fulfilled. In the cross we see the intangible faith of Christianity. The cross appeals to our emotions and to the ineffable aspects of human experience.

Beauty strikes the same chord in human life. Beauty is an abstraction, it is transcendant, it can be cold and austere like a staute capable of a stern perfection, or sublimely pure like a flowering orchid. It can be the stark depiction of reality or fantasy on canvas or film as well as a mountain stream or a prairie sunset. It stirs in the heart emotions: despair for the smallness of mind which cannot grasp the greater creative mind; humility in light of genius displayed; hope, for all is not lost when beauty exists in the world; faith, because true beauty is inspired by the mind of God Who is the purveyor of all that is beautiful. These abstractions become realities as beauty speaks truth to the heart, that a Living God, as immense as any mind can fathom and beyond that thought even more so, exists. "Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears." ~ Edgar Allen Poe~

The heart is never silent when faced with the beautiful, even in stillnes and contemplation the heart speaks. We cannot quiet the voice of God, we only seek to drown it out and confuse it with the noise of life.

The vision of the Beautiful is a glimpse of something transcendent and eternal and causes delight in those who experience it.

Saint Augustine wrote in his "Confessions":
"O Lord, do I love Thee. Thou didst strike on my heart with Thy word and I loved Thee.... But what do I love when I love Thee? Not the beauty of bodies nor the loveliness of seasons, nor the radiance of the light around us, so gladsome to our eyes, nor the sweet melodies of songs of every kind, nor the fragrance of flowers and ointments and spices, nor manna and honey, nor limbs delectable for fleshly embraces. I do not love these things when I love my God. And yet I love a light and a voice and a fragrance and a food and an embrace when I love my God, who is a light, a voice, a fragrance, a food, and an embrace to my inner man.... This it is that I love when I love my God..."

Simplistic, perhaps; sacrilegious, possibly; pantheistic, perchance, however,...

We cannot always compartmentalize and segregate all the components of human life into neat little boxes which can be opened upon whim and analyzed for thier function and use. That is not life. Life is a collage of myriad forms, thoughts and actions all working synergistically in harmony with a wholistic goal of pointing to God for the redemption of these same things. That is a beautiful thing.

What moves you to tears? What shakes your soul? What stirs your heart?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Lord, Father-God, open my eyes, open my heart ...

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