O Beauty Ever Ancient

Source of Renewal

Today the world labors under the dictatorship of relativism, a dictatorship that has left in its wake much confusion and led many astray. At the core of relativistic thought is that, at best, truth is relative to one's perspective, which effectively has come to mean that there really is no Absolute Truth. The burden created by this approach has become great and has made it difficult to preach the Good News revealed by God because many today have been formed in this methodology. Unfortunately, because it is so widespread many Catholics are steeped in it, including priests and religious. In this regard, without a proper appreciation of Truth, it is impossible to understand Catholic Teaching in so many areas, which effectively leaves many Catholics incapable of Evangelizing others.

In recent years there has been much talk of the need for a New Evangelization. The problem this hopes to correct is the lack of faith among Catholics. For the New Evangelization to even have a chance at succeeding and accomplishing the needed renewal in the Church, it will require a great deal from priests and religious first and foremost. At the heart of this success is the "Beauty ever ancient, ever new." These words of St. Augustine reflect his conversion from his worldly pursuits to his rest in the Divine. This particular quote is an apt description of Truth in that it is the same in every generation yet always refreshing.

Those who truly appreciate this Beauty realize contemplating It and taking It in is tremendously refreshing and liberating. Yet they are also quick to realize that It is a Beauty that must be appreciated by the recipient in order for it to be effective. All of the words used to describe It often fall short and so the only thing one can do is invite another to slow down and gaze upon its loveliness. The more who do this, the better the renewal sought in the new evangelization will be. Renewal through an appreciation of the Truth must be the first stage and the embracing of that Truth must be without equivocation. In this regard, every Catholic, priests and religious first, must come to realize that God's "best servant is he who is intent not so much on hearing his petition answered, as rather on willing whatever he hears from" God. God is the Beauty!

In this regard, I can echo St. Augustine's sentiment in saying, "late have I loved you." It is not so much when we fall in Love with the Beauty ever ancient but that we fall in Love with It. As St. Augustine's excitement for this Beauty remains contagious to this day, so must all who have taken in the Beauty let his or her excitement for it be known. For those who appreciate this Beauty, we join the ages in praying, "Lord send out Your Spirit and renew the face of the earth."