From the most bizarre liturgical experiments, bishops have largely moved on. For better or for worse, our buildings don’t. We fashion them, then they form us. The same iconoclastic spirit which stripped liturgies of mystery made a mess of our churches. That is a tragedy. A church is, we might say, a catechesis in stone. It is a book everyone can read. For two generations we’ve sent our kids into the world culturally illiterate. Sure, they know how to text. And yet, too many are ignorant of the Word. I don’t just mean the details of how David nailed Goliath. They are starving to learn again how that Word has been made flesh, incarnate in time, through culture, by symbols, within tradition. Over the next months this spot will be devoted to helping us recover the Catholic sense of how to build with beauty.
We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.