Beauty in the Lives of Our Children

I recently listened to a talk by Bishop Barron gave to the Religious Education Congress in March last year.

What struck me, to my very core, was that Bishop Barron whole heartily recommended the importance of Beauty in the lives of our children, as a means to keeping them in the Church.

Do listen to it when you get a chance, it is that good and helpful.

Yes, Beauty! One of the Transcendentals.

How many of you put Beauty first when you plan out the school year?

Do you instead focus on these questions?

Will I be enough for them? Will I ruin my children? How will they get into college?

Those questions only encourage overwhelm and a sense of failure. Stop the mommy overwhelm.

Beauty has to lead our choices of curriculum for the simple reason, we want our children’s souls to be saved.  We hope in a heaven and one for our children and ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong, Truth and Goodness, the other transcendentals, must also be incorporated. However, Beauty is the pathway to Truth and Goodness, especially in this very distractible and ugly world of today. Therefore it must take center stage.

The good news is, Catholics have the upper hand in this arena. You have a whole host of resources to draw upon to lead with Beauty.

Music, art, literature, and drama, created, and sponsored by the Church is available as the cornerstone of education for your children.

Combining Art and Music for beauty

What about Art and Music?

Do you fit Art and Music in when you get everything else done? To be honest, we can do a heck of a better job, right?

Isn’t hard enough to get everything done, and manage the house. Like you, I have been overwhelmed and do not need another guilt trip.

BUT hear me out for a sec, this is really important!

What if I told you we have a golden opportunity to turn our culture around.  Yes, I truly believe that. 

It begins with families who are intentional about living a faith-filled life. So what does that actually mean and how does it translate into our homes and our education?

Dedicate a good portion of your curriculum towards Beauty. 

Put the following into your family life and curriculum right now! Make it happen today, when you write them down in your weekly planning and schedule then you can be assured that Beauty leads the curriculum.

  • Make certain the great literary classics are read and discussed, especially the great Catholic writers.
  • Visit museums often, even virtually.
  • Visit local Churches, study their artwork and architecture, and know that most of it is designed to teach us the faith.
  • Go to LIVE dramatic and musical performances of the classics. Yes, even opera! The human soul is moved by the sheer beauty of drama and music. ( Many orchestras are doing virtual performances, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra.)

Yes, I am totally advocating doing these things first then finding time for the other subjects!

Beautiful music from the Philadelphia Orchestra

Lead with Beauty

Ask any adult what inspires them to live out their faith. They will invariably lead with Beauty. By infusing your family life and education with Beauty you help to train a discerning ear and eye for beauty and its author Jesus Christ.

When Beauty leads, the heart soars, the mind is then ripe for the intellectual pursuits of the other subjects.

Next week’s blog I promise to share my best bets for adding great Art. Then I plan to post the following week with how to add in great music!


Here is a great resource to begin this process of leading with Beauty…

I found Dr. Lev’s book to be an inspiring book and tool to frame the importance of Beauty.

How Catholic Art saved the Faith

“In a series of finely crafted and absorbing essays, Elizabeth Lev actually demonstrates how, at a crucial moment in the Church’s history, artists used paintbrush and chisel to proclaim the Gospel. This book will be extremely helpful for catechists, teachers, preachers, and I daresay, for artists themselves. ” Bishop Barron


When you get a chance, please listen to this interview of Professor Lev who discusses the art that saved the Church during the Counter-Reformation. You will be left inspired to learn more and

For another writing on the importance of Beauty, here is a great article…

Here is a recent article that relates making art and having children by a Catholic artist I found at he Catholic Artist Directory.

http://www.johnfolley.com/beauty-advocacy-blog/on-making-art-and-having-babies-part-1

And here is another good article to read: Why beautiful painting, sculpture, music have a crucial place in Catholic spirituality.

Share in the comments your Beauty links!

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6 Comments

  1. Elizabeth

    Such a great reminder!!!! I started putting on my calendar for a different composer each month – and I just make a habit of turning on that music when I think of it. During this quarantine time, we sometimes each put a composer’s name in the hat and draw one and that is what we listen to for the day after a brief investigation into who the composer is 🙂

    Reply
    • Paola Ciskanik

      What a great fun way to get to know the composers! Thanks for the idea Elizabeth!

      Reply
  2. A

    Thank you, Paola. What a wonderful reminder on how to set our priorities in order!

    My youngest (14) has been watching free operas from NY on metopera.com, listening to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (Arkangel recordings are free on Audible these days), and taking time to dabble with paint, play the piano, and recite poetry (The Microbe by Hillaire Belloc is a timely one!). Algebra is still being done daily, and new Eastertide desserts are being created 🙂

    After homeschooling six children, I urge you to follow Paola’s wise advice — relax and enjoy!

    Reply
    • Paola Ciskanik

      Aww, I am so glad this is a help! Love all those amazing beautiful things your youngest is taking advantage of these days!!And thanks for the heads up on the free recording now available! Yay!!!You are so sweet!

      Reply
  3. Linda

    Excellent video clip on the beauty of art…thank you!

    Reply
  4. Elizabeth

    Thanks Paola for a great article. It is an important reminder and the links for the museums and orchestras are super helpful!

    Reply

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