Here is the beauty, including by the sea | National Catholic Registry


To make the house beautiful and ‘Theology of Home III: At the Sea’

Registry contributor Emily Stimpson Chapman writes some pretty words. I like to read his thoughts on Instagram.

A few months ago she thoughts on beauty hit my heart.

She wrote, in part:

“Beauty matters. It’s not the most important. It’s not the only thing. It should not be made an idol. But beauty still matters. … It comforts. It consoles. It helps me to breathe.

“He does it because he reminds me of another House and the One who prepares this House for me.

“According to the Church, beauty is a window through which we see God. It gives us a glimpse of the order, harmony and peace we were made for. Or, more accurately, it gives us a glimpse of the One who is Order, Harmony and Peace. And that’s insight we all need. … Everybody. We all need beauty. We all want it. We were all made for this.

“…You need it. Do the same with your family and friends. Like those churches of old, it is, in fair measure, an act of evangelism and love.

“It’s also an act of defiance. It’s a refusal to give up in the face of grief and madness. It’s an insistence that we weren’t made for chaos. It’s a statement that we do not belong to the father of lies, but to the God who is Beauty, we are made in his image.

“Then plant flowers today. Or choose any. Sweep your floors. Open the curtains. Hang a picture. Rearrange the furniture. Paint a wall if desired. Just do what you can to make your creative corner a little more beautiful.

Catholics, of course, have long cultivated beauty – from grand churches adorned with stained-glass windows to magnificent testimony to the lives of saints.

I like to beatify my home with fresh flowers and Marian art. I love to celebrate wonderful words – from scripture, saints and more – pointing to Truth and offering glimpses of Ultimate Hope.

Like Pope Saint Paul VI recalled artists, “This world we live in needs beauty so as not to sink into despair. It is beauty, like truth, that gladdens the heart…”

And as Saint Alfonso de Liguori said: “When we see a beautiful object, a beautiful garden or a beautiful flower, think that we see there a ray of the infinite beauty of God, who gave existence to this object “.

Or, as Saint Anthony of Padua said: “If created things are so absolutely beautiful, how gloriously beautiful must be the one who made them!”

Something quite charming: the sea.

Therefore, I enjoyed reading the latest book Theology of Home: Third House Theology: Overboard.

As a woman whose favorite color is water-themed (aqua), I lingered over the pages showing beautiful photographs of blue water. The book shows the authors’ families enjoying the beach and water and includes photos of nautical items, with a statue of the Blessed Mother perched on a nearby shelf or table here and there.

Looking for a calming read? That’s it.

Photographs by Amy Smith of photos by Kim Baile in TAN Books’ ‘Theology of Home III: At the Sea’

Authors Carrie Gress and Noelle Mering explain how water has accompanied and shaped humanity for eons – and how Holy Mother Church anchors her sacramental life in it.

They write:

“The sea attracts us but also makes us want to bring it home. We want to live next door or at least bring its beauty inside…”

I particularly appreciated the reflection on the role of water in the life of Jesus, since the calming of the storm — Peace! Keep calm! — to this marvelous miraculous marriage until the first sacrament.

As the book explains:

“Jesus communicates to us that the water… [is] a deeply meaningful way to communicate God’s grace, healing and love.

And, although all reflections of vol. 3 moved me, given my Marian heart, I loved the Blessed Mother-centered connections that Gress and Mering included and the assurance that Stella Maria (Star of the Sea) always helps us in the midst of our own stormy seas. Included is a quote from Pope Benedict XVI, from Spe Salvi (Saved in hope)that me too return to: “Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us?”

As I read this volume, I thought back to the quiet days spent along the beaches of Florida and along the coast of New England with my family.

I am also grateful for the time I spent in college when, on sunny days, I would take a study break on the shores of Lake Michigan on campus because, as III House Theology attests,

“…there is always something nostalgic and new about remembering and hoping for a hot day at the sea.”

How beautiful blue can soothe an anxious heart and busy mind!

Jane Austen’s novels also reflect this truth, according to the charming “Jane at the Sea” section of the book.

Reading these insights makes me appreciate the ponds in my Midwestern neighborhood all the more – how restful it is to watch the shining water as I cross the paths, praying in the stillness of my heart as I walk. and admire the soothing beauty.

This book, like the sea itself, is balm for the soul.


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