III. THE WAYS OF BEAUTY
Three areas stand out for the privileged way of beauty to enable dialogue with contemporary cultures:
III-1 The Beauty of Creation;
III-2 The Beauty of the Arts; and
III-3 The Beauty of Christ, Model and Prototype of Christian Holiness.
This sums up what is ahead in the next days as we delve into part III, the final two-thirds of the document. We will work through the universe and what God has created, then what human beings have crafted, and culminate with Jesus as we consider the higher purpose of beauty–not to point to its own grandeur, but to beckon those who appreciate beauty into following Jesus, into conversion, and into sanctity.
The beauty of God, revealed by the singular beauty of His Son, constitutes the origin and end of all creation. If it is possible to begin with the most basic level, then to ascend following a dynamic written in the Sacred Scriptures, from the tangible beauty of nature to the beauty of the Creator, this beauty shines in a unique manner on the face of Christ and in His Mother and the saints. The Christian sees the “creation” as inseparable from “re-creation”, for if God has judged good and beautiful the work of six days, (cf. Genesis 1) sin, along with disorder, has introduced the ugliness of death and evil. “Oh happy fault, which gained for us such a Redeemer!” sings the Easter liturgy. The Grace which flows from the side of Christ the Savior across the world, purifies and introduces a beauty that is completely other to save the world, which groaningly awaits the hour of its final transformation. (Romans 8, 22)
The full document is here.
Image: the rose window at Notre Dame in Paris, By Zachi Evenor based on File:North rose window of Notre-Dame de Paris, Aug 2010.jpg by Julie Anne Workman – CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60404628