Detroit, MI. When people visit the Detroit Institute of Arts, or any art museum for that matter, they are often there seeking beautiful art. Beauty, along with goodness and truth, make up the three transcendentals. “Transcendentals are the timeless and universal attributes of being”, according to Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary. They say that when we seek truth, goodness, beauty, we are really seeking God, since God Himself is these three things. In today’s story, one of our evangelists used the transcendentals to hopefully draw a young art student closer to God.
The following report comes to us from evangelist Mark with the National SPSE office team in Warren, MI:
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Cindy and I spoke with Cameron, a high school senior, as well as his mother and sister. Cameron is interested in art and wants to go to a nearby art school next year. I told him about my experience and education at the same school and gave him advice. We talked about sacred art and he said that he has a deep appreciation for Renaissance, Catholic art. I told Cameron that beauty is one of the three transcendentals (along with goodness and truth). Beauty has the power to transcend cultures and ultimately leads us to God. The mother said that was raised Catholic but left the Church when she married a Baptist. We encouraged her to return and recommended a parish near their home. We ended the conversation by praying with the family for their intentions.
Later on, Cindy and I met Brian, a cyclist who was passing by but stopped for the offer of a free rosary. Brian was raised Catholic but, like many, slowly drifted away from the Church years ago. Cindy and I both recommended a nearby parish that has daily Mass and daily Confession. Cindy encouraged Brian to go to Confession and he was visibly shaken at first. I comforted him and said that frequent Confession has helped me bring peace to my life. I said that everyone has something on their conscience that they are not proud of. Even if you are embarrassed to talk about what you’ve done, it can be very helpful just to talk to someone about it and allow God to heal you. My testimony gave Brian some solace; he thanked me, shook my hand and accepted a card for follow-up.
Praised be Jesus Christ! Author David Bentley Hart once said, “Beauty pleases not only the eye or ear, but also the intellect in a celebration of the integrity of our body and soul. It can be seen as a sign of God’s goodness, benevolence and graciousness, of both His presence and His transcendence in the world.” If beauty points to God, let us point to beauty when evangelizing in hopes that they will see our Creator in his beautiful creation and be drawn to Him.