Participation in Beauty and Goodness

“For since the most beautiful and supreme good of all is the Divinity itself, to which incline all things that have a tendency towards what is beautiful and good, we therefore say that the mind, as being in the image of the most beautiful, itself also remains in beauty and goodness so long as it partakes as far as is possible in its archetype: but if it were at all to depart from this it is deprived of that beauty in which it was.” St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Humanity, 12.9

All things have their source and root in God. To the degree that we usurp the position of God but try to claim His attributes for ourselves, we becomes monsters. Love becomes less about self-sacrifice and more about hedonism and self-satisfying pleasure. Justice and mercy became the catch-phrase for any organization wishing to crush its own opponents under the weight of its self-centered identity which resists all diversity of thought. Beauty becomes a thing to be monetized and abused for personal gain rather than becoming a means of ecstasy (ek + stasis = a going out of ourselves) to journey to the Truly Beautiful. We have a sense of the ‘right-ness’ of these things but turn them into idols in our denial of Him Who is their source and fountainhead.

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