About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“To speak the language of God's beauty, we must first begin to listen. And to listen, we must have silence in our lives. I pray that God will open our eyes and ears to beauty, and help us use it in the service of the Truth.”
— Bishop James D. Conley (10/4/2013)

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Day 22: The Challenge of Appreciating Beauty
published 14 December 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

What you will read now is part of a series of 100 spiritual challenges. Each blog can be viewed separately, but for maximum benefit a reader needs to start with the introductory blog of November 18, 2011, and then continue step by step. Day One begins on Sunday, November 20, 2011.
    [ Click here for 100 STEPS ]

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)

Theme 4 The Challenge of Appreciating Beauty

(This is the beginning of a new week of The Way of Love: Step by Step. So it begins with a little opening teaching on the theme for the week. )

Teaching: Kierkegaard wrote the most interesting analysis of the famous scripture that heads this week’s challenge. He said the most important thing in the passage is the word “again.” He thought that many of us read “Rejoice in the Lord always…” and immediately think of all the reasons not to rejoice such as the state of the world, of our finances, our family conflicts, etc. etc. So, St. Paul adds “again I say rejoice” reminding us that no matter what the reasons not to rejoice there is more to rejoice in, especially in our salvation.

I am applying this idea to the reality of beauty. A week on the challenge of forgiveness could have been arduous. I certainly need to week to lift my soul in joy in the many forms of beauty God has given us. We had one day of this during our challenge of gratitude, but in this week we will expand our joy in beauty.

St. Thomas Aquinas defined beauty as “the splendor of being.” How is that for a beautiful definition! He also wrote that “The beauty of anything created is nothing else than a similitude of divine beauty participated in by things.”

About beauty in the arts Pope Benedict XVI recently said: Art is capable of expressing, and of making visible, man’s need to go beyond what he sees; it reveals his thirst and his search for the infinite.

During this week may God waft us above all our crosses and difficulties to bask in the beauty around us.

Day 22: Challenge of Appreciating All the Beauty around you.

Scripture: “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

Dr. Ronda’s examples: I noticed the beauty of the sound of thunder during the night and thought about rain being beautiful in spite of being so inconvenient. I admired everything beautiful in our Seminary chapel, especially the singing of the choir for the Immaculate Conception Mass. I rejoiced in the beauty of our celebration dinner, in how wonderful food looks when displayed with flair.

Your examples:

Prayer: Father God, a relative once told me that I was mostly either mad or sad! I felt so bad. Truly there is lots of joy in my heart, but help me to praise You even more often, sincerely, for everything beautiful along the Way of Love: step by step.

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.