A Beautiful Way To See

From Father Sean Caulfield’s book The Experience of Praying

Recreation differs from entertainment. People need to relax. They say. “I need to be left alone. I want to get away from it all.” But when left alone they find themselves restless, the mind and imagination racing. What they need is beauty. Beauty is to the mind what food and drink are to the body. Beauty sets reasoning at rest. We do not reason about beauty. We drink it in intuitively. It is not the end result of a process of logic. Let us take as an example our reaction to a beautiful sunset. There is no discussion–so much blue over there, so much red and purple here. We gaze on the sunset with a sense of restfulness, a sense of being lifted up above the petty things of everyday living. We begin to say, “I wonder why we have to be so petty, so competitive, so defensive?” The mind is rested. We feel strong again, at peace able to face another week, able to live with a less than ideal situation. People do this sort of thing all the time without reflection. Society has to have its measure of contemplation or contemplatives to keep it from going mad. We need all the beauty we can get. It re-creates us. Contemplation is rest.

The businessman goes out to play a game of gold, not to struggle or be competitive and win but to enjoy the green earth, to enjoy companionship. The city sets aside its most valuable property to make a park because people need beauty. People in slums grow flowers in window boxes because they realize intuitively that it helps stay human. They know from experience that there is most crime where there is least beauty. No matter how practical or pragmatice people may might be they always seem to find beauty. Without it we become hard and unfeeling from the stress of coping, advancing and defending ourselves. More than others, politicians, priest and Joint Chiefs of Staff need beauty to combat the destructive force of power. Business executives need it to counteract the corruption of wealth.

Beauty is the common basis of all the fruits of the spirit: music, art, poetry, love and quiet prayer. (unquote)

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Fall is at my doorstep, I have been driving about, trying to re-capture the beautiful colors of the season. Soon the leaves will be dropping to the ground, and then they have their work to do. It is all part of the process, if they don’t drop to the ground, providing cover for the next seedlings, organic rich matter for the delicate roots, soils and all the micro-organisms we need for life, then it would all end. So as I say adieu to another fall, the leaves drop to the ground, and pave the path for future life. Life continues….

I have to find beauty, no doubt about that.  I do it many ways, but certainly I must…..

Happy Birthday to Hays Enoch, he is 19 years old today. He is beauty!



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