Wednesday, December 31, 2008


-to love what is beautiful. It's been over a year since I've picked up my Mounce, so this new to me Greek word comes not through study, but through an attempt to deepen my prayer life. I've begun reading The Way of the Pilgrim, and for those of you who've read it, you'll know the book which is given the Pilgrim by the starets is titled Philokalia. I've not gotten far into TWotP yet, but this new word has been on my mind.

The "ancient triad" I try to keep before me when homeschooling is truth, goodness and beauty. Anyone who has studied philosophy or education has come across these ideas. Actually, anyone who has lived would know these ideas, even if in their current life they are in short supply. Oftentimes, when teaching or just going about with daily life, beauty is given the short end. We often see the value of truth, as much for utilitarian means if not for the truth itself, and we also often see the benefit of goodness. How else will society function if not some sort of goodness or morality guides our actions? Beauty seems more elusive. We desire it and often envy it. Some pursue it. Others try to ignore it, though I don't think they can. And, at least to me, unfathomably, some try to destroy it. God has placed in us a desire and attraction for beauty, for He is beautiful, and no matter how corrupted those desires may become, their purpose is to draw us to Him. Being created in His image, we are also able to create, or at least make the attempt, things of beauty, whether in art, music, architecture, design, or even an appealing meal.

Before Christmas break, I had decided that the girls and I would spend an afternoon when there was nothing pressing, (no dance or piano lessons, and no church meetings), to paint or draw. I hate that the busyness of our lives too often get in the way of these pursuits, which means perhaps we should reevaluate our priorities. Anyway here are some samples of what was accomplished, without formal lessons and just having fun. Unfortunately, I don't have anything of Emma's to show because she hasn't completed them.

Olivia's Cross

My two attempts

I leave this idea of philokalia for now with a quote from C.S. Lewis. from his sermon, The Weight of Glory.

If we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in. When human souls have become as perfect in voluntary obedience as the inanimate creation is in its lifeless obedience, then they will put on its glory, or rather that greater glory of which nature is only the first sketch.

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