Catholic Dictionary




That which instinctively appeals. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, "Beauty relates to the cognitive faculty; for beautiful things are those which please on being seen. Hence beauty consists in due proportion" (Summa Theologica, I, 5,4). There is, consequently, beauty not only in things material but also, and especially, in things spiritual. "Union in distinction makes order; order produces agreement; and proportion and agreement, in complete and finished things, make beauty" (St. Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God, I).