The Temple of Beauty
Beauty is an all-pervading presence. It unfolds to the numberless flowers of the Spring; it waves in the branches of the trees and in the green blades of grass; it haunts the depths of the earth and the sea, and gleams out in the hues of the shell and the precious stone. And not only these minute objects, but the ocean, the mountains, the clouds, the heavens, the starts, the rising and the setting sun, all overflow with beauty. The universe is its temple; and those men who are alive to it cannot lift their eyes without feeling themselves encompassed with it on every side. Now, this beauty is so precious, the enjoyment it gives so refined and pure, so congenial and so akin to worship, that it is pain living in the midst of it, and living almost as blind to it, as if, instead of this fair earth and glorious sky, they were tenants of a dungeon. An infinite joy is lost to the world by the want of culture of this spiritual endowment. The greatest truths are wronged if not linked with beauty, and they win their way most surely and deeply into the soul when arrayed in this their natural and fit attire. ~ W.E. Channing
First Principle and Foundation
Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. The other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him in attaining the end for which he is created.
Hence, man is to make use of them in as far as they help him in the attainment of his end, and he must rid himself of them in as far as they prove a hindrance to him.
Therefore, we must make ourselves indifferent to all created things, as far as we are allowed free choice and are not under any prohibition. Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short life. The same holds for all other things.
Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created.
From The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, edited by Louis J. Puhl, S.J. Chicago: Loyola University Press. 1951.
All photos taken and owned by this blog’s author.
- Flight of the Bumblebee: Family Reunion – Sept. 2012
- Cat napping in downtown used bookstore: Lincoln, Nebraska
- Hawk on a wire in my backyard
- Gateway to the James River Valley: Family Reunion , Sept. 2012
- Station XIII at sunrise: Grotto of the Redemption
- Fairy wings: my daughter
- Ovation after the Ode to Joy: Lincoln Symphony Orchestra
- St. Wenceslaus Cemetery: Dodge County, Nebraska
- Invitatory: Liturgy of the Hours
- Butterfly: Earl May Garden Center
- September Sunset north of Olivet, South Dakota after family reunion, Sept. 2012