O Beauty, both ancient and new!
Why has St Augustine called God the “ancient and new beauty” in his exclamation: “Late have I loved you, O beauty both ancient and new, late have I loved you”?
I think it’s because in the beginning, God shared his own beauty with humanity and could congratulate himself: “It is all so very good” when he created humanity (Genesis 1:31) – the Ancient, Originating Beauty.
Jesus becomes human in Incarnation, he is “the most handsome of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever” (Psalm 45:2) – The Ancient Beauty become New!
But then in Jesus, even the Church, the Believing Community, becomes eternally beautiful.”If someone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new(2 Corinthians 5:17)
The New Creation Beauty.
Ephesians 5:27 has this to say on Jesus as the beauty of the Church itself: “so as to present the church to himself (Jesus) in splendour, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind — yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish” – the definitive/ly New Beauty.
Finally: “And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2) – the Everlasting Beauty.
From the Ancient Beauty to the New Beauty in Jesus Christ. All praise and glory be to him!
By Fr Paul Sciberars