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Work for beauty.
re: Teach Men to School Their Hearts
I’m curious: how many readers recognize his meme?
The author never mentions it again in his text; an identity for the Imago dei* nor does he ever reference the Dutch Benedictine monk who penned the original Schola Cordis school of the heart http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benedictus_van_Haeften subtitled ‘The heart of it self gone away from God brought back again to him, and instructed by him’ (an immensely popular chapbook** of the baroque Counter-Reformation designed to win over souls lost to arid rigorist moralisms of Jansenism and Calvinism ie the Fortress Katholicus / neocon’s of their day, or those who fled their too-tight clasp on reality into novel, even more disparate, sects a la Brad Gregory’s history on the “Unintended Reformation”)
This is the ’embodied’ intellectual project we Catholics must embrace via aggiornamento and ressourcement, that of JPII: modern mind-over-matter man has lost his way because he has lost sight of his soul, that integral capacity, our desire for union with God that makes us capable of experiencing the very grandeur we seek so ardently that our hearts burn within us.
* in referencing ‘biblical’ while tagging the article ‘Christian’ and ‘Catholic’ without ever using those actual terms in his text or a naming a transcendent being that he posits as source of this putative beauty, goodness and truth he argues we owe reverence to (ie God’s perfect Revelation to man in his pervasive deficiencies: His Son, the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ).
** popularised in English by Royalist Anglican-episcopalian Christopher Harvey (to counter the rabid iconoclasm-on-the-warpath of Cromwell’s intemperate Roundhead Republicans) in 47 emblems omitting the meatier precursor in three volumes of his Regia Via Crucis (Carmelite purgative, illuminative and unative Way of the Cross replete with Apocryphal versicals that were scrubbed for consumption by tender Protestant eyes…!)
… boarding the navicula of faith, note similarity to the logo for our present Year of Faith, the Church as mystical body with Christ at her head, the Advocate sent to be the very wind in her sails.
But isn’t ‘beauty’ often a stumbling block of great offense? The apprehension of beauty, whatever the word might mean, demands an ultimate subjectivity in perspective that is highly socially volatile, because of the commensurate and requisite emotional passion needed to determine what is or is not ‘beautiful.’
When it comes to Beauty, the perils of unameliorable subjectivity and raw emotion and human capriciousness aren’t unavoidable by-products, rather they are contained in the concept itself.
Did Jesus ever mention beauty? I know Peter approached the topic in a couple of different ways. My personal favorite:
“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.
The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.”
-I Peter 1:24,25