The Beauty of God

by Kathleen Glavich, SND on January 2, 2019

in Blogs

In this Christmas season, we can’t help but be stunned by beautiful scenes: a church festooned with poinsettias and garlands, snow-covered mountains and frosted trees, a starlit sky, a dance in the Nutcracker, the faces of small children aglow with joy. We are programmed to thrill at beautiful sights. We take photos of them to capture and preserve them. We take pride in calling our country “American the Beautiful.” We also drink in beauty when gazing at certain artwork like the Pieta and when hearing certain pieces of music like Faure’s “Requiem.”  Beauty has power to take our breath away and bring tears to our eyes.  It is a reflection of the beauty of God, the Creator. In a poem, John Keats praised beauty, saying

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

The Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote that the whole world is “charged with the grandeur of God.” It can lift our minds and hearts to God.

In writing my book “I Am Going,” about the last words of the saints, I discovered that when Steve Jobs was dying, his last words were “Wow! Oh wow!” And he said them three times. What was he beholding?  I’m guessing that it was something of supreme beauty.

Most of us strive to be as beautiful (or handsome) as we can. We style our hair, clothe ourselves in lovely outfits, and workout and diet in order to maintain good figures. These are attempts to achieve perfection, in other words to reflect that quality that resides in its fullness in God—beauty. St. Augustine in his book Confessions addresses God this way:  “Late have I loved you, beauty so ancient and so new.” In Psalm 27:4 we pray, “One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: . . . To gaze on the Lord’s beauty.”

A good New Year’s resolution might be to spend more time with beauty.

What thing of beauty has moved you recently?

Click below to go to a hymn about God’s beauty.

Beauty Ever Ancient song

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment