31 Days of De-Stressed Living, Day 19: Orient Toward Beauty

The other day I came across David Clayton’s “The Way of Beauty” series at Catholic.TV. An iconographer and artist-in-residence at St. Thomas More College in New Hampshire, Clayton explores the art and architecture of various time periods, to show how the transcendent was communicated even to the illiterate . . . through beauty.

mary icon The highly stylized beauty of icons is something that can be appreciated on many levels; learning how to interpret the artist’s intention can greatly increase one’s appreciation for the image.

What is true for icons is also true for us as women: The more we know about the intention of God, the Creator, the better we are able to recognize our own “way of beauty,” and see it in the world around us.

And let not your adornment be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3

This verse can be something of a relief for those of us who spend most of our days working at home with nothing but a thin layer of face cream to accentuate our beauty. (Wait. And CLOTHES, of course. Though none of my “work out  home” outfits would be seen within a mile of any catwalk.)

So, today’s de-stresser? Orient yourself toward beauty in order to feed that “hidden person of the heart.” Like Julie Cameron in The Artist’s Way recommends, make an “artist’s date” with yourself to experience the world with all your senses, and drink in the beauty. Thank God for it, and use that  moment of thankfulness to begin a dialogue. For all that is most beautiful, ultimately points to the Artist.

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