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To Seek Beauty

To Seek Beauty: Introduction

What we do not nourish

within ourselves

cannot exist in the world around us

because we are its microcosm.

We cannot moan the loss

of quality in our world

and not ourselves

seed the beautiful in our wake.

We cannot decry the loss of the spiritual

and continue ourselves to function

only on the level of the vulgar.

We cannot hope for fullness of life

without nurturing fullness of soul.

We must seek beauty, study beauty

surround ourselves with beauty.

To be contemplative

we must remove the clutter of our lives,

surround ourselves with beauty,

and consciously, relentlessly,

persistently give it away

until the tiny world

for which we are responsible

begins to reflect

the raw beauty that is God.

–from Illuminated Life by Joan Chittister (Orbis)