Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Ramifications for the Liturgy -do you think?

September 28th, 2012, Promulgated by Bernie
True beauty satisfies the human heart.
(from The National Catholic Register)

Register illustration via “Shutterstock”

“…My interest in the influence of beauty on mental health arose in graduate school at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. I heard a series of lectures by philosopher Kenneth Schmitz in which he addressed the relationship between the transcendental qualities of being (truth, goodness, unity and beauty) and the practice of psychology. This really caught my attention — in part because I had heard very little about the topic previously. In particular, it struck me that I knew of no place in psychology where beauty — understood in its depth — and its role in human health had been addressed in a direct, conscious way…
In my research, I found empirical studies showing that exposure to natural beauty is salutary, actually improving physical and mental health. There are also health benefits of exposure to artistic beauty, as expressed in painting and music. I became increasingly aware of how the various forms of beauty can help to heal the human person, particularly in terms of psychological healing…”      Read more

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2 Responses to “Ramifications for the Liturgy -do you think?”

  1. avatar Thinkling says:

    This dovetails nicely with a piece I saw somewhere about a year ago.

    It completely trashed the maxim “beauty is in the eye of the beholder“. It pointed out that beauty is (my distant paraphrase here) the reflection of God in something on account of it being well ordered (or maybe acting toward its rightful end). Thus beauty is either present or absent. Obvious parallels to this piece.

    The recognition of beauty, on the other hand, is indeed in the eye of the beholder. And perhaps in the soul as well, as this piece suggests.

    Do not remember who it was, perhaps Peter Kreeft though.

  2. avatar raymondfrice says:

    I saw a long video a few months ago about the basics of good art. It was the narrator’s thesis that all really good music, visual arts etc are originating in nature and the natural world and somehow resonate in our brain when we experience them. However you have to get in touch with these “channels” or circuitry in the brain and develop them. An example would be our attraction to 2/4 time in music because it is like a human heart beating or the beauty of a circle because it is similar to perfection in nature. The Golden Mean is another example as is Gregorian chat from the early church and possibly before that from the Hebrews in Egypt doing their slave labor. Some time listen to Gregorian Chant and then the American slave songs and note the similarity in the timing and volume; the notes are slow and in waves of sound which reflect their moods. It is my strong belief that Gregorian type chant goes back thousands of years and reflected the moods of the people of the times.

    Essentially we are wired for beauty but also must be receptive to it and develop it.

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