Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
June 7, 2010
Ouellet, Anderson describe beauty of Christ, the Trinity
Only the beauty found in Jesus can save the world, says supreme knight
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
Beauty is the only thing that will save the world, says Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. And the only beauty that can save is that found in Jesus Christ.
"The beauty that will save the world - that will save you and me - is not a beauty made by human hands," Anderson said May 27. "The beauty strong enough to save the world must be a beauty strong enough to conquer death."
Anderson and Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet addressed the Edmonton Archdiocese's Nothing More Beautiful process at St. Joseph's Basilica. While the theme of their talks was Jesus Christ: Revelation of the Trinity, many of their remarks focused on the series' general theme - that there is nothing more beautiful than a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus, said when he heard the theme of the series, he immediately thought of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky's phrase, "Beauty will save the world."
He spoke of Dostoevsky's extreme reaction at seeing a painting of Christ lying in the tomb, one that made the author realize the terror and the power of death.
"What Dostoevsky realized in this moment is that Christian hope is incomprehensible if it is separated from its unflinching encounter with the reality of death."
The beauty of Christ, Anderson said, leads one to what Pope Benedict calls "the beauty of love that goes 'to the very end.'"
When people live as Christians, they live as loving human beings, he said. In living for love as Christ did, "we reveal to others who they are - beings made by love, for love."
When we encounter a suffering person, it is really Christ asking us to care for him. "What some might see as simply painful is in reality something more than pain - it is an opportunity to see and create beauty."
Cardinal Ouellet spoke of "the luminous beauty of Christ" that can be found within the Church despite the Church's failings and limits.
Our world is tempted to despair at an apparent lack of goodness, "but it is still sensitive to beauty," he said. The lives of many artists, for example, have been "on the verge of personal shipwreck, but the beauty that fascinates them also saves them from drowning.
"The beautiful opens the heart to another dimension, like a window onto the infinite."
Yet when humanity found itself encountering the beauty of Christ, it asked whether his message was too beautiful to be true. "He was treated as a false prophet, an agitator of the people, a blasphemer, one who profaned the Sabbath, in brief, an evildoer who ended his days hanging between two criminals on a cross."
But because God had sent his Son to the world to reconcile it to himself, he could not allow him to suffer the corruption of the grave. Christ's body was pierced with a heavenly light and the gates of death burst open, Ouellet said.
"There is nothing more beautiful than this destiny of the Son of Man, become the Son of vGod with power by his resurrection from among the dead."
There is nothing more beautiful than the resurrection of Christ and his ascension to the Father's right hand, where he intercedes for us as the high priest of the New Covenant."
Yet, we can participate in that beauty through "eucharistic immersion in the mystery of the Three and in the ocean of their love, through the offering of the only-begotten Son.
"This offering is placed in our hands and we unite our own offering to it so as to participate, already now, in eternal life, that is, in the infinite exchange of love between the divine persons."
The Nothing More Beautiful series will enter the third of its planned five years on Oct. 21 when the 2010-11 cycle begins on The Beauty of Life in Communion.
(The text of Cardinal Ouellet's talk can be found here, while the text of Carl Anderson's talk will be published in next week's WCR.)
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