The Taste for Beauty

 

A few weeks ago I came across a fascinating post by Fr. Dwight Longenecker entitled “Why You Need Poetry”.

Now, I have to confess: I’m not into poetry. And that’s not for lack of trying… I was exposed to it in school, and many an article like Fr. Dwight’s has prompted me to try to get into it.

But so far, no luck.

And yet, I’ll keep trying, for reasons like those spelled out by Father in his post. For I know that there’s a “muscle” in my spirit that is in danger of atrophying: it’s my aesthetic sense, my ability to delight in things, to recognize not only the truth or goodness of things, but their beauty as well, my ability to be in awe of a piece of beautiful music, of a compelling story, of… a poem.

There are all sorts of reasons why this sense is one that I cannot let atrophy any further, why it’s important that I foster my aesthetic sensibility, my taste for beauty, and in future posts I expect to detail and explain those reasons.

For for now, I’ll mention two: first, as I’ve mentioned previously, I want to be more discriminating, more critical in how I consume what our culture offers us, and to do so requires that I strengthen that taste for beauty, that I develop a more discerning palate, if you will.

And second: God delights in my delight. He delights when I am awed by beauty, whether it be the beauty of His creation or the beauty created by His creatures.

And that fact — that God delights in my delight — is itself something that I am in awe of.

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