If there such a thing as a ‘science’ to beauty, we derive it from the Greeks, who posited three criteria to this most elusive, yet most evident, concept: Integrity – does a thing have all its parts? – proportion – are these various parts in harmony with one another? – and clarity (or ‘honestas’) – does the thing signify, or shine forth, what it is, and what it is meant to be? Saint Thomas refers to these in his treatise on the Trinity (cf., I, q.39, a.8), and why not, for is not God the most beautiful, and the source of all beauty?

All material creation is beautiful, and just as there is a science of beauty, so too there is a beauty to science, and the study of nature. Kepler’s planetary laws, Maxwell’s electromagnetic equations, Bernoulli’s theorem, are not highly accurate, but also beautiful in their simplicity. When Einstein first examined the mathematical theorem of Father Georges Lemaitre, extending his own General Theory of Relativity, leading eventually to the theory of the Big Bang – the great scientist muttered sotto voce, ‘tres joli, tres, tres, tres joli’ – very beautiful, very, very, very beautiful’.

The pinnacle of material creation, Man and Woman made in His image, conformed to His likeness in re-birth, reflects God’s beauty most of all, far more to be found in or souls, than our bodies.

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