Sunday, 23 January 2011

Mystery and Beauty

The most beautiful things in the world are the most mysterious

I heard this saying in the most unlikely of places, yesterday. Such was its effect on me, that at the end of a long day filled with many things, it was still the breaker crashing around in my head as I tried to submit to sleep.

When I heard it, it stuck to me. I knew it to be true without formulating a mitigation or argument. I think that you know it too.

In my world, one of faith and family, this saying has particular valency. Equally, as a priest, I am also one of the people most apt to desecrate the mystery of much beauty. In my sermons, in these blog posts, I try to explain things away - as much for myself as for you, but it is what I do.

The Holy Trinity - surely the most beautiful thing that we can know. That incomprehensible dialogue between the Three who form the Whole - how may centuries have been devoted comprehending that mystery? 

The Blessed Virgin Mary - submission and acceptance of a fate that none of us would have chosen. Beguiling eyes, a pure heart, such perfect love; innocence beyond measure.

The sacraments - overwhelming gifts of grace with nothing less than the fingerprint of God upon them. To receive is to know. The beauty of a man laying down his life that I, my children and their children may live, laid down willingly but not completely gladly. 

Love ....

Children - they embody the white-light of hope and potential, an inspiration to all who look upon them.

These and so many more things are just stunning to me. The natural world and even the inventions of humankind - all have a beauty that is held in place by mystery. In a few moments, I will stand before a small congregation and offer for them things of such beauty, all the while reducing their mystery. To do one is to reduce the other. Some things just don't need to be explained, they just need to be. 

1 comment:

  1. Whoever said "let well alone", knew what they were talking about. Or, even more mundane, but essentially the same truth, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
    There is beauty to be found in the most unlikely corners, in landscape, skies, seascapes, still faces, fluid movement, so many but try to explain what you are seeing and the magic is gone.
    I agree we do ourselves (and others) a disservice by attempting to verbalise what is meant to be silently observed and absorbed.



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