My wonderful sister-in-law and I had a little mom date today. We took our four kids (total) downtown for a stroll and to the park. Coming from different places, we met at the local Catholic Church, a natural meeting place–close, easy to find, lots of parking, understanding of slow moms with babies.
There was a day when churches were town centers precisely for these reasons (maybe minus the parking).
The Church should the unifying center of life for believing Christians.
Let’s make it that again!
We understand things wrongly if we say that people are burdens on society. Society is meant to further the good of the individuals who constitute it. This may not be economically profitable all the time, but that’s not the point. The point is the people.
I often comment on the beauty of others: male and female, old and young, anybody. Only to notice and point out beauty, not to insult. I once told a cashier she was beautiful. I think old people can be beautiful and I tell others.
I’ve noticed that this often sometimes make the people I’m with uncomfortable. Sadly, beauty tends to be associated with sexualization. But when I say someone is beautiful, I am not saying that I am physically attracted to that person.
Human beings are just beautiful. God made us that way, in His image. We should note the beauty of human beings because it is a celebration of the goodness of creation. In fact, Hans Urs Von Balthasar wrote a Catholic theology of God through the analogy of beauty. After all, beauty is one of the transcendentals (the qualities of an object that are analogous to its being. Others are truth, goodness, unity).
Beauty, properly understood, expresses reality just as truth. That’s why art is supposed to about expressing beauty; this gives it its value. Contrary to popular belief, art is not merely about shocking the audience.
The Gospels are simultaneously crystal-clear and obvious and also completely impenetrable…yet also consistent somehow. Kind of like God, I thought.