Via Pulchritudinis: Conclusion, Part 3

Here’s part 3 of 4 of the Conclusion to this document on the Way of Beauty. The parceling out of this is just my pulling out the final thoughts of the Pontifical Council for Culture. Not really part of the document except for the paragraph breaks.

Today, the christological witness:

If beauty is the splendor of the truth, then our question is that of Pilate, and the reply is the same: it is Jesus Himself who is Beauty. He manifests Himself from Tabor to the Cross, shedding light on the mystery of (humanity), disfigured by sin, but purified and recreated by Redeeming Love. Jesus is not a path among others, a truth among others, a beauty among others. He does not propose one way among others. He is the living path that leads to the living truth that gives true life. Supreme beauty, splendor of the Truth, Jesus is the source of all beauty because, Word of God made flesh, He is the manifestation of the Father. “(The one) who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14, 9)

In his earthly ministry, Jesus revealed himself in various ways to people. Sometimes it was blindingly obvious, as referenced here by the Transfiguration. Sometimes it was a revelation that his closest friends and disciples shied away from, as was the case during his Passion. And sometimes, it was subtle and for a single person–the confessions of faith of the apostle Peter (Cf. Matthew 16:16) and the Lord’s friend Martha (Cf. John 11:27). These manifestations continue, largely in ways for individual believers at receptive moments. Whether these moments involve the intellect, human emotions, or some internal sense, they are times when beauty breaks through the routine of existence and offers a window into another way.

The summit, the archetype of beauty manifests itself in the face of the Son of Man crucified on the Cross of sorrows, Revelation of infinite love of God who, in His mercy for His creatures, restores beauty lost with original sin. “Beauty will save the world,” because this beauty is Christ, the only beauty that defies evil, and triumphs over death. By love, the “most beautiful of the children of men” became “the man of sorrows”, “without beauty, without majesty no looks to attract our eyes” (Isaiah 53, 2) and so he rendered to (humankind), to each and every (person) the fullness of His beauty, His dignity and His true grandeur. In Christ, and only in Him, our via crucis is transformed into His in the via lucis and the via pulchritudinis.

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

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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