Throughout the ages, great philosophers and theologians have described the importance of beauty, truth and goodness that point to the meaning of life and human existence and ultimately to God. Unfortunately in today’s culture and society relativism has overshadowed this pursuit of truth and goodness. Even though these are challenging times, there really is no enemy to beauty, beauty is the last-standing transcendental. Nobody argues with the beauty of a sunset or a newborn baby or a beautiful ancient church. Whether people realise it or not, people are open to encounter God through beauty.
“Beauty is indeed a good gift of God” – St. Augustine, City of God, Chapter 22
When we let beauty speak, it can break through the noise and bring truth and goodness with it. So what can we learn from beauty? Can beauty help the church to evangelize? Beauty can speak through good music, books, and art. However, it speaks most powerfully through the lives of everyday Christians who know their dignity, live with heroic virtue, and remind the world what it means to be human. In a world that is on hold with the pandemic, now is the time for great saints to rise up and bring the beauty of God’s love into your everyday life. When we do this we can become a remedy for the isolation of the times we are living through right now.
Deep in everyone’s heart is the question of what it means to be human? What does it mean to be fully alive and fully human? What role does the church play in offering the world a way of life that helps to build a better culture of life? We are living at a time that rarely asks the big questions. The problem with relativism is that people state, ‘I have my truth and you have yours’. This denying of objective truths becomes problematic as nearly all debates end before they can begin. Our culture is sinking into despair while we become numb with the infinite desire for God.
Personal renewal is the way to cultural renewal. It is only when we place ourselves in prayer and fasting that we can deepen our relationship with God, and constantly surrender to God’s will in our lives. This sacramental life brings light into the darkness. Light always lights up the darkness and truth always prevails. In a world so consumed with tweets, youtube clips, social media likes, it can be hard to see beyond the noise. Our faith is all about a beauty that will save us. The Christian sees beauty, truth and goodness embodied in the man Jesus Christ. In him the invisible becomes visible; the visible is a ‘sacrament’ of the invisible.
Beauty, as Dostoievsky has said, will save the world.