Beholding Your Beauty


“The acute experience of great beauty readily evokes a nameless yearning for something more than earth can offer.  Elegant splendor reawakens our spirit’s aching need for the infinite, a hunger for more than matter can provide.”                                                          -Fr. Thomas Dubay

An acute experience of great beauty.  Sometimes beauty pierces the heart and the soul.  It catches your breath.  It very nearly makes you weep.  It is a heart-rending experience of something that makes you long for far more, yet causes tremendous gratitude that you were able to experience that small glimpse.

Photo cred for this one goes to my little sister

It can be something seemingly insignificant.  The most recent things that have caused my heart to swoon have been trees.  Last Friday, I was driving to Mass and passed a tree bellowing the glory of God.  It was the perfect shade of golden-red and I felt tears come to my eyes as I gazed at it.  It was a moment of intimate union in my car as I moved passed the tree.  It happened again last night at my parents’ house.  The tree was filled with beauty and sunshine and the brilliant contrast of golden leaves with scarlet was arresting.  Even with my arms laden with papers, I still took a few minutes to gawk at the loveliness of creation.

Yesterday, the priest at Mass focused on beauty and how it can pull us in to something beyond what we can see.  I was in love with his descriptions of different moments of beauty.  Part of me wondered if this is a common experience, the transformative power of beauty that causes one to stop and stare with unabashed brazen wonder.

It happened to me in Switzerland, a land I became firmly convinced that could never be home to atheists.  I wondered how they could look at their mountains and lakes and not see God.  Yet we can all be in beautiful situations and places and simply pass them by, not concerned with the truly monumental aspects.

Take a few moments to soak in the beauty of fall, the beauty of this world.  Gaze at a lovely painting, listen to a classical work, drive through the autumnal countryside–draw up into your soul all of the beauty that surrounds you and let yourself be drawn up into it as well.

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