Catholic Match: On Beauty

My latest post is up on CatholicMatch, in which I get to quote St. Augustine, The Lord of the Rings, and My Little Pony all in the service of beauty.

That is why I hate the phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ and consider it a grotesque blasphemy. To turn that which so completely removes our gaze from ourselves and twists it into a mere statement of our own reactions—in fact to turn our gaze back upon ourselves—is the sensual equivalent of an auto-immune disease, akin to making your charitable works a demonstration of your own piety. Like so much in our modern culture, it invokes compassion to tempt us to self-centeredness.

No, beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. It is not something we project upon the world around us, but something that we meet and respond to. It is undeniable reality. As St. Augustine said, if you question the beauty of created things, they themselves will answer you “Here, look; we are beautiful,” and in so doing, point to the glory of their Creator.

The natural response, the one we ought to have, is to admire beauty and to be thankful for it. When we meet beauty in the form of a woman (which is the greatest form of beauty we normally meet in this life), it can inspire the first beginnings of love.

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Read the rest and see what you think.

 

2 thoughts on “Catholic Match: On Beauty

  1. Nice, thoughtful post. Beauty is an objective thing, as you said (“truth is beauty”). I think most people use the phrase more to mean “there’s no accounting for taste.” But I get what you mean – it’s not really a good, precisely accurate saying.

    Like

  2. I loved your Catholic Match post of beauty! I’ve always held the (apparently minority) opinion that not only do looks matter, they should. Beauty is something that draws us toward God, and we should absolutely desire it in a spouse. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this!

    Like

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