Laudato Si 215: Seeking Beauty

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website.

215. In this regard, “the relationship between a good aesthetic education and the maintenance of a healthy environment cannot be overlooked”.[John Paul II, Message for the 1990 World Day of Peace, 14: AAS 82 (1990), 155]

Pope John Paul II was certainly no shirker of catechesis, but he appreciated the importance of art, and of things that cannot be counted or codified by intellect alone.

By learning to see and appreciate beauty, we learn to reject self-interested pragmatism. If someone has not learned to stop and admire something beautiful, we should not be surprised if he or she treats everything as an object to be used and abused without scruple. If we want to bring about deep change, we need to realize that certain mindsets really do influence our behavior. Our efforts at education will be inadequate and ineffectual unless we strive to promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society and our relationship with nature. Otherwise, the paradigm of consumerism will continue to advance, with the help of the media and the highly effective workings of the market.

Some would criticize more strongly either the media or the market. But I think aiming at both is aiming true. Thoughts before we head to the next topic?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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