What is in your heart is what matters. Seeing what is beautiful, changes the heart. The famous French philosopher of the twentieth century, Jacques Maritain, wrote, “The beautiful goes straight to the heart.” It can also be said that the ugliness of sin can distort the heart and affect how we see beauty. Often times in our lives we can find it difficult to see the beauty in life. So I’m inviting you to listen or view something beautiful as an introduction to seeing beauty. Viewing beautiful art can help us view beauty, such as a piece from Michelangelo or Van Gogh or perhaps listening to Bach, it could be viewing a sunset or the interior of a gothic church with beautiful stain glass windows. It could be remembering a loved one who is or was a role model in your life. Where are the little radiances in your life right now?
St Thomas Aquinas talks about beauty as clarity or radiance containing truth and goodness. What makes something beautiful is its way of radiance that gives joy to the heart. To rest in a little bit of beauty can do wonders for the heart. This rest really is a reflection of what each of us truly desires which is rest in God. “Beauty speaks directly to the heart, turning astonishment to marvel, admiration to gratitude, happiness to contemplation” (section II.3, The Way of Beauty, Pathway towards the Truth and the Good).
Throughout Scripture, God repeatedly and lovingly reminds you that the wellspring of authentic beauty is to be alive in Christ. We are all called to be beacons of light in the darkness.