Monday, September 12, 2005

...together, beauty and love form the true consolation in this world

Next to the saints, the art which the Church has produced is the only real “apologia” for her history. It is this glory which witnesses to the Lord, not theology’s clever explanations for all the terrible things which, lamentably, fill the pages of her history. The Church is to transform, improve, “humanize” the world—but how can she do that if at the same time she turns her back on beauty, which is so closely allied to love? For together, beauty and love form the true consolation in this world, bringing it as near as possible to the world of the resurrection. The Church must maintain high standards; she must be a place where beauty can be at home; she must lead the struggle for “spiritualization” without which the world becomes “the first circle of hell”.

- from Feast of Faith, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), p124

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