Via Pulchritudinis: Conclusion, Part 1

We arrive at a fitting Conclusion to this document on the Way of Beauty. We’ll let the thinking of the Pontifical Council for Culture parcel out bit by bit over the next few days.

To propose the via pulchritudinis as a pathway of evangelization and dialogue is to begin with the haunting question, sometimes latent, but always present in our hearts, “What is beauty?” to lead “all (people) of good will, in whom Grace acts invisibly” towards the “perfect man” who is the “image of the unseen God.” [Gaudium et Spes 22]

I would see Jesus as standing ready for us. The Father has created human beings in a certain way, with the biological senses prepared to notice things. Especially a brain and intellect that functions to ponder the experiences of the senses and reflect more deeply on them. It is how we are made. The Spirit pokes at us, nudges us, guides us to the Son. One way to answer the question, what, is to notice that the action of the Trinity is present in all aspects of our existence.

In order to encourage others to be led through beauty, even confirmed believers must themselves adopt (or continue) this attitude of allowing ourselves to be led. Even if it is just for a few moments during our waking hours, do we look up at the morning sky, do we gaze at a crucifix or icon in our home or at our workplace desk? Do we appoint our parishes and their meeting rooms and schools with art that invites a gaze? When we get home, do we look at a family with love, respect, and awe? Does the night sky lead us to something beyond ourselves and our daily concerns?

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,

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Art, evangelization, Via Pulchritudinis. Bookmark the permalink.

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