People in our culture are starving for beauty. I remember when Trudy Krise, a wonderful woman, would bring her deserts to class for the snack. Those days we had standing room only! People stood around the table exclaiming over the beauty of her deserts. They were indeed a work of art, and what is more, they tasted BETTER than they looked! People are so starved for beauty that knowing her art would be at the next class was all it took to get standing room only.
Why the popularity of the Extraordinary form of the Mass? We often call it “the Latin Mass”. Why do people drive extra distance to attend? When asked, the answer is very often the beauty of the extraordinary form. People are starved for beauty. If the Ordinary form of the Mass were beautiful, it would draw people equally well.
Making your own beauty used to be expected and common. Carving, furniture making, crafts, cooking, sewing, MUSIC, dancing– these were all activities people tried and if you had a knack or just loved it, you did it. You did not do it to make money (although you might use it to save some) you did it for love of making beauty.
Our culture does not value beauty made by people purely for the enjoyment of good work. Our culture tells us from childhood that your PAY is what determines the value of your work. That is a LIE because that is not what God tells us!
Saint Josemaria Escriva envisioned Opus Dei as filled with laypersons, everyday people, whose everyday work served both to sanctify themselves and the world around them. God measures work not by pay scale but by the love and attention to detail with which it is done. The making of beauty is a labor of love.
Dear Lord, help us all to recognize the beauty in work done well and with love. Please help us to recognize the beauty in work no matter its pay scale or lack of paycheck. Help us to value beauty.+Amen