01 August 2013

NLM: Why Do We Care about Beautiful Things?

Peter Kwasniewski, sometime contributor to Latin Mass magazine, has a lovely post up today at NLM on why we care about the liturgy, beauty and truth.

From the full post:

It has long struck me as strange that so many people in the Catholic world seem to consider the love and longing for beauty in the liturgy to be a matter of reproach. The traditional Catholic is written off as, at best, a hopeless romantic, a foppish aesthete, a poorly-adjusted introvert yearning for past glories, and at worst, someone who probably doesn’t care much about the poor or the modern world but who does care a great deal about the ornamentation of the monstrance, the cut and hue of the chasuble, and the precise amount of incense heaped on the coals. The way the term “nostalgia” is used as a pejorative term is quite revealing in this regard.

Yet those who find it easy to dismiss the traditionalists rarely pose the question: Might there be a good reason, even a compelling one, to care passionately about beautiful signs and symbols, beautiful cultural artifacts, customs, and practices, the “smells and bells” that were once so prevalent in Catholic worship that they seemed, to outsiders, to be nearly synonymous with it?

Read the rest

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