Father Thomas Morrette is pastor at The Catholic Community of Our Lady of Victory in Troy, Our Lady of the Snow Mission in Grafton and Christ Sun of Justice Parish in Troy.
Father Thomas Morrette is pastor at The Catholic Community of Our Lady of Victory in Troy, Our Lady of the Snow Mission in Grafton and Christ Sun of Justice Parish in Troy.
One of the blessings of living in the Northeast United States is the opportunity to experience the change of seasons. We’re headlong into September now and the hints of fall are in the air. How quickly the summer went by! The beauty of summer is morphing into the beauty of the fall. The school year has started and, very soon, we’ll be seeing the changes in the color of leaves and we’ll also get our fleece out for chilly evenings. A new beauty beckons.

Our Catholic faith has always had something to say about the reality we call “beauty.” We teach that God is reflected in all that is both true and beautiful. To see something beautiful is to be uplifted. Beauty inspires us and causes the heart to soar! That’s why the Church reminds us to take time for meditation on nature — to slow up and ponder natural wonders in our world, to sit by the seashore and see the hand of God in it, to climb mountains and to explore wonderful vistas around us, to pause in contemplation at the miracle of human life. Beauty lifts us, renews us, fills us with awe and calls us to prayer and gratitude.

A Christian brings the truths of our faith to our natural appreciation of the created world. This added dimension puts us in contact with the Person behind the created world. For the Christian, beauty is not something but Someone and that Someone is awesome, beyond our comprehension and stunning.

The life of a Christian often moves from fascination with beautiful things and people in this world to experiencing and possessing Beauty Itself — a journey from that which is secondary to that which is ultimate. God is “Ultimate Beauty” and, through creation, we can come to discover some of that now! (Can you imagine what it will be like to sit in the presence of that Beauty eternally?)

God’s Beauty became visible in Jesus Christ. The Son of God reveals all that is in His very “Heart.” God’s Beauty has been revealed as a mixture of power, creative love, forgiveness and a deep craving to share His life with us. His love compels Him to walk with us here in this life and to draw us to His side eternally. It’s a Heart that is at once mysterious, astounding and so sincerely parental.

The beauty of created things can never fully satisfy. Natural beauty is remarkable but it satisfies only partially and it is fleeting. Natural beauty hides a nostalgia for God, something the great St. Augustine experienced late in his life. In incomparable terms, he writes: “Late have I loved you — beauty so old, and so new — late have I loved you.” Awakened and astounded, Augustine’s life was changed forever.

So, this fall, contemplate the beautiful things of autumn but also look beyond and through them. Autumn has stunning gifts for us to experience but let them draw us on to the greater Mystery beyond. God’s Beauty can be found in the leaves, in the chill and in pumpkins and apple spice. So praise God who gives us these gifts each year among so many others. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!

Father Thomas Morrette is pastor at The Catholic Community of Our Lady of Victory in Troy, Our Lady of the Snow Mission in Grafton and Christ Sun of Justice Parish in Troy.