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Wounded by the arrow of beauty: Introduction to the Spring Fine Arts Festival

Beauty is like an arrow that wounds us, says Benedict XVI, but this is exactly how it summons man to his final destiny.” Beauty draws us along the road to salvation. For this reason, it is said that “Beauty will save the world.”

Tonight we will encounter many forms of beauty: the beauty of music and of the human voice, (choir and poetry), the beauty of the human form in coordinated movement (dance), the beauty of the word become flesh through acting, and the beauty of the world represented in two-dimensional form through pencil, charcoal and paint. I hope, we will also have the eyes to see the radiance of virtue as it shines forth from our students. This beauty that we will witness tonight can only be brought forth through a growth in attention and self-discipline, a growth in the ability to listen and in the capacity to see.

Throughout this evening, we might keep in mind that true beauty is a sacrament of Christ’s presence among us, as the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, affirms,

Christ plays in ten thousand places,

Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

 

Let us pray then that he will open our eyes to see his beauty and that he may quicken our steps along the road to our destiny.

O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (From the Book of Common Prayer)