Appreciate Beauty

Mar 24, 2023

Fr. Michael Schleupner offers another inspiring post in his Spiritual Wellness series today. This may not be something that we have thought to be important for our spiritual wellness before, but it can really make a difference! What form of art inspires you the most? Comment and share with us!

Spiritual Wellness – 11
Appreciate Beauty

Dear Friends,Fr. Michael Spiritual Wellness
Things of beauty can lift our spirit. They take us into the realm of the spiritual. They connect us with the Spirit – yes, with the Holy Spirit, with God. This is why we can say that seeking and appreciating things of beauty is an essential part of spiritual wellness.

I am thinking first of the beauty of nature: just gazing at the ocean and hearing the rhythm of the waves; driving through the mountains; walking on a trail through the woods; or just looking out of a window at a tree magnificently shaped by decades of life.
Then there is the beauty of visual art: the many rural scenes and portraits of Andrew Wyeth; or the mystique of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo de Vinci.
There is the beauty of music: the Fifth Symphony by Beethoven (rated as the most famous symphony in the world); Come, Journey with Me by Marty Haugen or Our God by Chris Tomlin.
There is the beauty of sculpture: the Pieta by Michelangelo; or Liberty Enlightening the World (Statue of Liberty) by Auguste Bartholdi.
There is the beauty of architecture and buildings: Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
There is the beauty of literature and especially poetry: The Temple by George Herbert; or The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

You can undoubtedly add other examples of beauty. What I have shared above is limited by my own awareness and is by no means exhaustive. I hope what I have shared helps to make the point.

Most of us live very busy lives. Our days may be full and long. At some time or another, we have to deal with hardship: disappointments with our job, school, family or church, financial challenges, health problems, aging, and the loss of a loved one. And on top of that, we live with a great deal of divisiveness in our world.

What I am saying is that in our life and in the human situation in general, we need things of beauty. We need to make space for the beautiful to lift us and lift our spirit to the One who is Spirit, to God. This brings us some serenity and peace, some light and life. This is why I say that seeking and appreciating things of beauty is an essential part of spiritual wellness.

~Fr. Michael Schleupner

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