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Beauty and the Beast

I got a little distracted while kneeling at Mass this last Sunday.

Distracted by the recent Ugly in the Church.

Here I am not referring to any scandal in and of itself, but rather that secondary, pervasive spiritual wound that threatens to steal our joy and bruise our witness as lay Catholics. It feels like an invisible beast lurking around and whispering words of doubt, fear, confusion, and even despair.

I often think in analogies and so at Mass this image of Beauty and the Beast came to mind.

A little bit Walt Disney, a little bit King Kong.

The raging, frightening, and powerful beasts in both and the beauty that overcame them, leaving them, in the former, transformed, and in the latter, dead.

Have you ever thought of beauty as a weapon against evil? Things like a stunning sunset, a song that gets stuck in your head about something lovely, or maybe a smile on the face of someone that has it harder than you.

Little daily experiences of Beauty can transform us….redeem us from the inside out and rescue us from worry and despair. She steers us back towards Truth.

Beauty is heroic!

If you are wondering what you can do to have a real impact at this time in the Church, I want to offer this challenge: Be beautiful. Maybe that’s the most powerful, transforming response to the Ugly of the Beast.

Not Catholic? Be beautiful. We need each other. Let’s work together to heal wounds. I am confident that all of the improved protocol, released documents, and investigations in the world (while necessary) won’t cure us of its presence. After all, as in the last line of King Kong, “Oh, no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”

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Lauren Harper

Lauren is a wife and mother of six children, convert to the Catholic faith, registered nurse, lover of sunsets, avid movie-watcher, occasional gardener, and enjoys reading and conversing about theology, philosophy, psychology, and logic.

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