“Indeed, an essential function of genuine beauty, as emphasized by Plato, is that beauty gives man a healthy “shock”, it draws him out of himself, wrenches him away from resignation and from being content with the humdrum—it even makes him suffer, piercing him like an arrow, but in doing so it “ reawakens” him…. Beauty pulls us up short, but in doing so it reminds us of our final destiny, it sets us back on our path, fills us with new hope, gives us the courage to live to the full the unique gift of life. The quest that I am describing here is clearly not about escaping into the irrational or into mere aestheticism.
If we acknowledge that beauty touches us, that it wounds us, that it opens our eyes, then we rediscover the joy of seeing, of being able to grasp the profound meaning of our existence…In this regard one may speak of a via pulchritudinis, a path of beauty which is at the same time an artistic and aesthetic journey, a journey of faith, of theological enquiry.”
— Benedict VXI (from an address delivered to over 250 artists on November 20, 2009)