Saint Basil the Great


It is natural to look for beauty and to love it, even though the idea of what is beautiful varies between one person and another.


Now, what is more marvelous than the divine beauty?  What can you think of that is more likely to give pleasure than the magnificence of God?  What desire could be more ardent, more irresistible than the thirst which God inspires in the soul when once it has been purified of every vice and cries out: ‘I am sick with love.’ [S. of S. 2:5]


The divine beauty is beyond description in words.  We could compare its brilliance to the light of the morning star or the moon or the sun.  But we should be as far from a true description as midday is from the dead of night.


This beauty is invisible to the eyes of the body; only the soul and the mind can perceive it.  Every time it illumines the saints, it leaves in them a sting, a nostalgia so strong as to wring from the cry: ‘Woe is me, that I am in exile still.’ [cf. Ps. 120:5]


By our nature we human beings aspire to what is beautiful and love it.  But what is beautiful is also good.  God is good.  Everyone looks for the good, therefore everyone looks for God.


Cardinal Thomas Spidlik, SJ. Drinking from the Hidden Fountain: A Patristic Breviary: Ancient Wisdom for Today’s World. Minneapolis: Cistercian Publications, 1993. 173.