Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Je ne sais Croix

Handsome faces aren't the only attractive attribute people can have.  There's also personality.  But there's also something else.  Je ne sais croix.

I am blessed to know a few women and maybe a man or two, who don't have attractive faces.  One man even is physically repulsive due, to his state of obesity.  They're also quiet, even shy.  Yet, I think they're beautiful.

How can this be?

They must emanate something.  They seem content--even more than content, happy.  They're happy with whom they are.  More than that, they're happy about the world around them.  I'm pretty sure that they think I'm beautiful, too!

How did they acquire this elusive, indefinable, state of being?

I think they're in love.  That's the only thing that explains it.  Yet, some of these people have been married for years!  One is even a priest.  So whom would be the object of their love?

Who created love?  Who created them--or everyone, for that matter?  Who wants us to know and love Him?

Do you think they're in love with God?  

Thomas Aquinas says  pulchra dicuntur quae visa placent.   My understanding of this phrase is, things that give us pleasure are beautiful.  The philosopher, Jacques Maritain translates it as beautiful things give us pleasure,  id quod visum placet.    But it is explained much more proficiently by David Clayton on his blog,  The Way of Beauty.  Prof. Clayton teaches at Thomas More College, in New Hampshire.

What I'm trying to get at, is I believe these beautiful people are so in love with God, that God has rubbed off on them.  That's what I'm seeing, God in them.  Aquinas also tells us that beauty is made up of due proportion, integrity, and clarity.  When I see a person's good life, (due proportion), I am drawn by its attractiveness, and then I see Love (God) in them, (integrity), and the person they love, (God), and to Him whom their lives are ordered, (clarity).

Are you crazy yet?

Here is my point:  living a good life by obeying God's commandments, the beatitudes, and the corporal works of mercy, in order to get as close to God as possible, really does bring one to union with the living God.  And this emanates like sunshine inside that person.  Fortunately, I am Catholic, and when I live the good life liturgically, I can feel His grace.  I must continually strive to feel more and more of His Love.  The closer I come, the more beautiful I am.  Better still, the more beautiful are you.

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