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Life in Christ

599

VI.

T

ruth

, B

eauty

,

and

S

acred

A

rt

2500

The practice of goodness is accompanied by spontaneous

spiritual joy and moral beauty. Likewise, truth carries with it the

joy and splendor of spiritual beauty. Truth is beautiful in itself.

Truth in words, the rational expression of the knowledge of created

and uncreated reality, is necessary to man, who is endowed with

intellect. But truth can also find other complementary forms of

human expression, above all when it is a matter of evoking what is

beyond words: the depths of the human heart, the exaltations of

the soul, the mystery of God. Even before revealing himself to man

in words of truth, God reveals himself to him through the universal

language of creation, the work of his Word, of his wisdom: the

order and harmony of the cosmos—which both the child and the

scientist discover—“from the greatness and beauty of created

things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator,” “for the

author of beauty created them.”

290

[Wisdom] is a breath of the power of God, and a pure

emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing

defiled gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of

eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and

an image of his goodness.

291

For [wisdom] is more beautiful

than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars.

Compared with the light she is found to be superior, for it is

succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not

prevail.

292

I became enamored of her beauty.

293

2501

Created “in the image of God,”

294

man also expresses the

truth of his relationship with God the Creator by the beauty of his

artistic works. Indeed,

art

is a distinctively human form of expres­

sion; beyond the search for the necessities of life which is common

to all living creatures, art is a freely given superabundance of the

human being’s inner riches. Arising from talent given by the Crea­

tor and from man’s own effort, art is a form of practical wisdom,

uniting knowledge and skill,

295

to give form to the truth of reality

in a language accessible to sight or hearing. To the extent that it is

inspired by truth and love of beings, art bears a certain likeness to

God’s activity in what he has created. Like any other human

290

Wis

13:3, 5.

291

Wis

7:25-26.

292

Wis

7:29-30.

293

Wis

8:2.

294

Gen

1:26.

295 Cf.

Wis

7:16-17.

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341

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