Sunday, February 4, 2007

Beauty pt. 1

"Every experience of beauty points to infinity" -Hans Urs von Balthasar

"Pulchra sunt quae visa placent" - Beautiful things are those which, when seen, please"-Thomas Aquinas

What is it about music that makes it so capable of completely stirring my heart and emotions? There is truly something so intrinsic to the nature of music that gives it a sort of power; a type of power capable of making me feel such a variety of different sensations, a power that possess the ability to excite my passions and move my soul. I think this power is beauty.

"The best, most beautiful, and most perfect way that we have of expressing a sweet concord of mind to each other is by music." – Jonathan Edwards

When I Hear Patty Griffin's voice it makes me feel as though I want to cry.

When I hear Ryan Adam's melodies I am capable of feeling broken, bitter, at peace, or even deeply sad.

When I hear a Sigur Ros song I feel much the same as I would next to a giant mountain or staring at a sunset over the vast ocean. Their songs are capable of making me feel completely in awe of something huge.

When I hear "Where the Streets Have No Name" or "Pride in the Name of Love" by U2, I feel alive. I feel like running with all of my might. I feel like living.

When I listen to "Music for the Morning After" by Pete Yorn, I simply want to forget myself, be silent, and drive for hours with the windows down.

Tom Petty renders me cheerful, proud, and content.

Pat Green makes me feel like I home.

Coldplay leaves me contemplative and idealistic

The Wallflowers are like a nostalgic thanksgiving dinner with the family when you were a kid or the same feeling as when you see a good friend you have deeply missed.

In the presence of Radiohead I feel dark, moody, and deep.

Third Eye Blind songs leave me feeling rambunctious and edgy

Tori Amos engenders a feeling of a summer rain storm

Is it strange that when I hear these artists I feel the presence of God, and am often capable of deeper worship than while listening to Christian Music? I think as a Christian I am free to claim the good, the true, the holy, whenever and wherever I find it. Any where there is beauty it's pointing to God.

Thomas Aquinas said, "For the beauty of a creature is nothing other than a likeness of the divine beauty sharing all things."

Every one is capable of feeling, seeing, and experiencing the fruit of beauty in this life…I would just argue that as Christians we are the most capable of identifying its source.

Jesus is the arrangement. Jesus is the design. Jesus is the intelligence. He is the source of ultimate reality.

The piercing experience of great beauty readily evokes a nameless yearning for something more than earth can offer. Elegant splendor reawakens our spirit's aching need for the infinite, a hunger for more than matter can provide . . . a hunger for sublimity for which earth offers mere aromas.

Whereas truth and virtue cannot exist without God, neither can beauty. Augustine put his finger on the matter in his famous prayer, "You have made us, O Lord, for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

We know we experience true beauty when we are so fascinated by something that we have neither time nor desire to think about ourselves and what benefits we can derive. Theology, therefore, must be concerned much less with showing man that Christ offers him what he wants and much more concerned with showing man that he cannot help but worship the splendor of what he sees.

*Much of this blog is lifted and borrowed from Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell & a Blog by David Phillips

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