So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Monday, February 13, 2017

Beauty is as beauty does. Part two: a heart of beauty versus the heart of an iconoclast.

Altarpiece | Holy Ghost Catholic Church, Kula, Maui.
Click on image to Enlarge

Those who lack beauty in their hearts are likely to be unable to recognize and appreciate beauty in others and in the Liturgy.

Aesthete or Philistine?

An aesthete (or esthete) is someone able to appreciate art, the manifestation of truth, goodness and beauty.

Conversely, a philistine—a person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts—is a brute, a barbarian and, in our day as in olden times, an iconoclast.
  1. a person who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions.
  2. a destroyer of images used in religious worship, in particular.
The modern iconoclast shares with his ancient brethren an irrational disposition of the mind, an orientation to blandness and a disordered love of banality. Such things require little of us, so it is easy to understand why people gravitate toward the 'easy', the banal and the cheap. The challenge to go beyond one's complacency (and satisfaction with mere utility and cheap thrills) that truly beautiful art provides to the imagination, then, is a threat to the soul that has become accustomed to trite things. The modern iconoclast hates (true) art, and he attempts to elevate to the status of art that which is nothing more than pornography, propaganda (relativistic ideology) and disordered desire.

Beauty is a threat to the iconoclast. Minions of the culture of death cannot appreciate the beauty (sacredness and dignity) of human life in all its stages, so they destroy that which they cannot tolerate nor bear to embrace. The light of beauty (and goodness and truth) reminds the iconoclast of his or her darkness, his or her sins and unrepentant hearts. He or she has become so angry that his or her anger is no longer an exception but a habit, a deadly habit that demands all others bow before an idol of darkness and death. If that habit persists after physical death, a fossilized heart will drag a soul down into a self-made hell.

The iconoclast has carved for himself or herself a heart of stone.
Ezekiel 36:26
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
The soul can become alive, and present to beauty, if a person embraces the Most Holy Trinity in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 29(28 Vulgate):2).

Jesus desires every soul to be in a loving communion with Him and His Church. Now that you know that, what is your answer to Jesus? 'Yes' = peace and eternal life. If 'yes', then pray for the grace to lead you further into the Truth, contact a local Catholic priest and ask to be received into the Church that Jesus Himself founded, the Catholic Church. If your answer is 'no', then know that you are loved by God and He awaits your 'yes'. Peace be with you.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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