Tuesday, November 24, 2009

His XVI'ness on Beauty



"What is capable of restoring enthusiasm and confidence? What can encourage the human spirit to rediscover its path, to raise its eyes to the horizon, to dream of a life worthy of its vocation - if not beauty?
The experience of beauty does not remove us from reality, on the contrary, it leads to a direct encounter with the daily reality of our lives, liberating it from darkness, transfiguring it, making it radiant and beautiful.
You are the custodians of beauty: thanks to your talent, you have the opportunity to speak to the heart of humanity, to touch individual and collective sensibilities, to call forth dreams and hopes, to broaden the horizons of knowledge and of human engagement."
-- J.A. Ratzinger 2009

14 comments:

Quitmoanez said...

Woh, nice.

jc said...

I'd argue that regular exercise and a balanced diet can do this stuff. ;) Sorry to point out such a pragmatic response, but beauty? come on!

Beautiful quote though. I like the whole custodians of beauty line, it conjures up some funny thoughts.

Quitmoanez said...

I think His Holiness was probably in a moment of raptured exegesis when he thought this!

C'mon, it's beautiful, it lifts the spirit.

Yes, exercise and a balanced diet facilitate that too, but beauty, or the pursuit of beauty, that will pretty much make you do anything.

For me, beauty is what I work for, meaning I have conflated my intuition of beauty with my process, which also results in 'flow' as was posted earlier, and also results in what we have previously called 'ruthless production'.

I write and write and write because I'm in pursuit of something which is beautiful to me, or feels that way anyways.

micro said...

Great quote.

I agree with Carlos.

jc said...

I better agree I don't want to get excommunicated from the blog. Especially with Macro and Carlos agreeing to something, hehehe.

But really, beauty? I'd agree that the topics he covers in this are poetic, but beauty is often only perception and most often superficial.

Is there a better word than 'beauty'? What about love? What about hope?
"What is capable of restoring enthusiasm and confidence? What can encourage the human spirit to rediscover its path, to raise its eyes to the horizon, to dream of a life worthy of its vocation - if not love?
The experience of love is a reality and it leads us to a direct encounter with the daily reality of our lives, liberating it from darkness, transfiguring it, making it radiant and beautiful.
You are the custodians of love: thanks to your talent, you have the opportunity to speak to the heart of humanity, to touch individual and collective sensibilities, to call forth dreams and hopes, to broaden the horizons of knowledge and of human engagement."

jc said...

or love of God?

D.Macri said...

I know, I totally agreed with Carlos there (shudders).

I get what you're saying James, but I think beauty is a more inclusive version of love. It's like love that can happen in an instance with you and a painting, or a tree. It goes without saying, if you're in love, or have love, it's beautiful. The possibility that it goes the other way as well (that if you have beauty, you have love), is at least worth some consideration.

"Every man values every acquisition he makes in the science of beauty, above his possessions. The most useful man in the most useful world, so long as only commodity was served, would remain unsatisfied. But, as fast as he sees beauty, life acquires a very high value."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 1860

jc said...

Great photo by the way, where's it from?

mondotrasho said...

The photo is actually a film still of a sculpture in the shot? I think you really like it because of the way the light models the face? Am I right? The origin isn't important, she is either a Madonna figure or the Woman of the Apocalypse from the book of revelations wearing the crown of 12 stars.

Knick said...

haha. I like the colors...so.....beautiful. it's restoring my confidence and enthusiasm as I type this. Seems a little cliche though, to post an image of a beautiful woman, but probably better than a picture of a wrinkled old pope.

anita said...

Even if beauty is just a perception, why should that make it less wonderful? Is rationality gonna claim that too?

Love, beauty, whatever. Whether its a poem, a painting, your lover, or some hot girl on the metro it just feels good.

But maybe in order to "speak to the heart of humanity" you need more than a hot girl. Some people do anyway.

renamaphone said...

I agree with Anita on that one- that was my immediate reaction too. What is wrong with subjectivity? And besides, a strong argument could me made for the inherent subjectivity of love....

Knick said...

I think what is very interesting about this rhetoric is the new Pope is Church is trying strengthen ties with artists. That's great! He gets a bunch of artists together at the Vatican and puts together this poetically beautiful speech about how art and religion can co-exist and thrive together!(and apparently he condemns contemporary art, especially the controversial stuff)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday sought to boost ties between the Roman Catholic Church and the art world as he met with dozens of artists in the Vatican's illustrious Sistine Chapel.

The pope urged non-believers to "enter into dialogue with believers, with those who, like yourselves, consider that they are pilgrims in this world and in history towards infinite beauty."

He added: "Faith takes nothing away from your genius or your art: on the contrary, it exalts them and nourishes them."

Does the pope have a speech writer?

renamaphone said...

Ha, I had been meaning to ask who he was addressing in this speech...