Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Love of beauty is Taste. The creation of beauty is Art."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our Lady’s home at Ephesus could not have been a large one, nor very grand. But being the home of the Queen of Heaven it certainly was beautiful. We often forget that our God is a God of beauty. The Catechism reminds us of what we see each day in the natural world, that “truth is beautiful in itself.” Our Lady, knowing God so intimately could not be blind to beauty, or neglect it in her own home; the home is the reflection of its inhabitants, if they value beauty, the house will be beautiful, if they do not the house will languish. That is not to say that it must be neat – everything in it’s place, swept clean each day, there is beauty also in artful chaos so long as it is a chaos of love. Clean and beautiful are not the same as neat and tidy. Clean and beautiful homes radiate welcome. They are places of rest and encouragement, as Mary’s home must have been. They are hospitable homes, where food is shared and love is thick in the air. Books may be piled on the floor, guitars lounging on love-seats; dishes may be forever accumulating in the sink, but they are lovely dishes, used to make each day special, not saved for better times, or better company; the books are well loved and the guests are welcome to peruse them.

In the past it was common for Catholic homes to have a crucifix in each room to make sacred each area of life; many homes still display this lovely consecration, others add to it by allowing the Catholic imagination to play at decorating. Colors, light, art, music, scents of holiness infuse these homes and allow them to step out of the stagnant repetition of many modern homes and into the wild beauty of the Sacraments. If we allow our homes to rise out of the pages of “Better Homes and Gardens,” if we instead form them from the richness of our faith, they themselves will become the canvasses on which the saving beauty of God’s love is illustrated for all who seek rest and encouragement within them.

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