Our society suffers from a deprivation of true beauty. This may sound strange to say in a culture that is so visual and becoming more so by each passing day but this is exactly the crux of the matter. We are glutted with false beauty and deprived of true beauty. 24/7 images are thrown at us purporting to represent true beauty, but in fact they do not. Our souls are left famished. False beauty empties the soul just as it promises to bring fulfillment. (It can be compared to that sick-in-the-gut feeling left over after having downed a bag of potato chips when you could have had an apple instead.)
True beauty is witnessed to by the presence of joy, which false beauty can never summon. True beauty fulfills the heart and remains after the flash and glitz of false beauty has faded. True beauty is often simple and quiet and ordinary. It is a source of life.
Iconography teaches us the language of true beauty and it helps to renew our vision – our ability to once again see and recognize beauty that fulfills the soul. Iconography is a gift from the East given exactly when we need it. Iconography – I am convinced – can help heal a soul emptied by false beauty … if one is willing to learn its language.