[In honor of this week marking four years of blogging here, I am re-posting a few favorite posts from the past.]
Love, Creativity and Beauty
We mothers frequently complain of never having time enough to get things done, and yet most of us with the ability will easily give up a portion of our precious time to such activities as knitting or sewing clothes for our children--even when we can pick up a nice thrift-shop baby sweater for a dollar, and if you look at the investment of time, quilt-making is not really a cost effective means of keeping your child warm at night. The investment of time is like the planting of a garden, and we hope that our efforts will show themselves in a colorful bounty. Love is the force behind Creation, and it displays itself in a blossoming of Beauty.Love is the cause behind a man and a woman becoming a father and a mother, the cause of another person coming into creation. And what, one may ask, of children born into loveless situations, such as are a result of rape or casual fornication, with violence or lust as the motivation rather than love? Even when love is not present between man and woman, God’s love is there, ever desiring to pour itself out into the creation of a soul, a soul He wishes to embrace and shower in His graces, wrap in His beauty.
We desire to give ourselves to the beloved. In marriage we forsake all others in order to give ourselves exclusively to the one we love. As our Lord taught us, sacrifice is the very nature of Love, the ultimate outpouring of the heart. Mothers do this naturally, giving our bodies to our unborn babies and nursing infants, putting their needs before our own, continuing to give ourselves throughout our lives to the families we so love.
Love desires to bestow beauty on the beloved.
This is the impetus that lies behind such wonders as Chartres Cathedral, Corelli’s Christmas Concerti, the Taj Mahal, The Song of Songs and countless other masterpieces of art, music, poetry and architecture. It is also the cause behind the creation of the universe, made in love for us, our Creator’s beloved children; beautiful in its dazzling variety, from galaxies and nebulae down to each little beetle and Forget-Me-Not. Proof of God’s love for us.
Having been made in His image, we also have this desire to create beauty and surround those we love with it. If we are endowed with some God-given talent, we knit, sew or paint. We write poems or compose music. We put much of ourselves into our efforts. If our talents lie elsewhere, we still strive to create order and beauty in our homes, and we point it out to our loved ones wherever it is to be found--in music, beautiful books, in butterflies and daffodils. And we are delighted when our little ones begin to point it out to us in return.
Why are so many works of art, architecture, music and literature in our day lacking Beauty? Simply because they are not created out of love. They are created out of a desire for fame or fortune, a desire to be “original” or to grab attention. They are not about the outpouring of one’s self for the beloved, but about self-aggrandizement. Has Satan’s envy of us something to do with God having given us this beautiful world? No, of course not, for the Enemy already has possession of so much of it, and in any case, an immortal being is hardly impressed with finite things that will pass away one day. No, his envy, at least in part, has to do with us being endowed with our Creator’s gift of creation. We love, and we create. Hatred is impotent. This is why Satan has so distorted everything having to do with creation and made it sterile and ugly, attacking marriage, fertility, parenthood and the Arts.
God wished to give us, His dear children, beauty and to give us Himself. And He did so, giving us the epitome of created Beauty in Mary, and then giving us Himself in Jesus Christ. As we are made in his image, we find ourselves compelled by the same urge to give beauty and ourselves to those we love.