Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Preaching The Beautiful

A preacher is someone whose life is dedicated to sharing and proclaiming the truth - the truth that is Jesus Christ. While the truth speaks very powerfully to the mind, the heart must also be addressed. Pope Benedict has pointed out that beauty is the language native to the human heart. He once said: "The encounter with the beautiful can become the wound of an arrow that strikes the heart and in this way opens our eyes so that we can see the truth more clearly." The Holy Father insists that truth and beauty belong together and that they must be presented together. He does so because he knows how much man needs both truth and beauty in order to appreciate and live the fullness of the Christian life. God is not only true; He is also good and beautiful.

Beauty serves the sacred liturgy by expressing the honor and glory due to the Triune God we worship, as well as by appealing to our own hearts and convincing us of the Truth that we encounter in the sacred liturgy. Pope Benedict writes, "I think that the great music born within the Church is an audible and perceptible rendering of the truth of our faith. In listening to sacred music - suddenly we feel: it is true!" The preacher, in his mission to communicate the truth of the Gospel, finds an indispensible ally in the power of beauty to move human hearts to embrace the fullness of the truth. As the Holy Father once exclaimed upon hearing a piece of sacred music: "Anyone who has heard this knows that the faith is true!"


A passage from the Article "Preaching The Beautiful," An Interview with Brother Michael O'Connor, O.P.

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