Right now, I am in Amalfi, where Saint Andrew, the Apostle, is buried. It is clear that few come to visit the brother of St. Peter, the rock upon which Our Lord founded the Church. I was looking at the city while wading in the sea and made a comment to my friend that it is of course beautiful: the dark blue waters, the colorful town, the rocks and trails we will hike today, and the waterfalls that will amaze us.
But, I added a caveat; that is, what we celebrated at my parish in Rome on Sunday, it’s 400th anniversary of it’s consecration and dedication to the Most Holy Trinity and Saint Benedict, and the way in which we celebrated, by taking part in the offering of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass by a prelate of Holy Mother Church, and thus in a most solemn manner, is even more beautiful than what we are encountering in this beautiful coastal town.
I was reminded of this in praying Sext, the midday prayer of religious and priests of the Church, wherein Psalm 41 is recited on Tuesdays. I’m sure everyone has heard Bob Hurd’s rendition if they have gone to an Easter Vigil in the new Rite of the Roman Rite. But I included the video below to express more profoundly the depth of the Psalm, wherein the psalmist proclaims his desire for Our Lord as the deer longs for running streams. In a sense, I wish to relate this to the transcendence of beauty. The modern man, who calculates everything and desires that the material world be measured to find the sum of what everything is, MUST always return to looking down back at the material world when he encounters something beautiful. He forces himself to continue measuring. But our experience shows us otherwise, there is the immeasurable and beauty lifts our minds and our hearts to encounter the very such.
Psalm 41: 2-5
As the hart panteth after the fountains of water; so my soul panteth after thee, O God. My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? My tears have been my bread day and night, whilst it is said to me daily: Where is thy God? These things I remembered, and poured out my soul in me: for I shall go over into the place of the wonderful tabernacle, even to the house of God: With the voice of joy and praise; the noise of one feasting.