Sermon quotes on beauty

 Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.

The Brothers Karamazov

Helen Keller

Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.”


C.S. Lewis

It was when I was happiest that I longed most. The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing to find the place where all the beauty came from.

Blaise Pascal

Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are everything in this world.


Eugene Peterson

The Christian gospel is rooted in language: God spoke a creation into being; our Savior was the Word made flesh. The poet is the person who uses words not primarily to convey information but to make a relationship, shape beauty, form truth…

 The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction

Jeremy Taylor

It is not the eye that sees the beauty of the heaven, nor the ear that hears the sweetness of music or the glad tidings of a prosperous occurrence, but the soul, that perceives all the relishes of sensual and intellectual perfections; and the more noble and excellent the soul is, the greater and more savory are its perceptions.

Victor Hugo

There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.

Les Misérables, Carleton Press.

Victor Hugo 

To love beauty is to see light. 

Albert Einstein 

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives. 

Dante Alighieri 

Beauty awakens the soul to act. 

Augustine of Hippo

Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul. 

Christopher Marlowe 

Goodness is beauty in the best estate. 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

If the too obvious, too straight branches of Truth and Good are crushed or amputated and cannot reach the light—yet perhaps the . . . unexpected branches of Beauty will make their way through and soar up to that very place and in this way perform the work of all three.

Nobel Prize Speech

Candice Bergen 

Though beauty gives you a weird sense of entitlement, it’s rather frightening and threatening to have others ascribe such importance to something you know you’re just renting for a while. 

Christopher Marlowe 

Goodness is beauty in the best estate. 

Dallas Willard

[Beauty] “is goodness made manifest to the senses.

Dallas Willard, chapel talk, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, September 12, 2011

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Beauty will save the world.

The Idiot, Bantam Books, 1983, 370.

Thomas Aquinas

Beauty is that which, when seen, pleases.

C.S. Lewis

We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.

The Weight of Glory, HarperCollins, 2001, 42.

Miguel de Cervantes

It is the prerogative and charm of beauty to win hearts.

Don Quixote (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), 237.

Augustine of Hippo

I asked the earth, I asked the sea and the deeps, among the living animals, the things that creep. I asked the winds that blow, I asked the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars and to all things that stand at the doors of my flesh. My question was the gaze I turned to them. Their answer was their beauty.

Confessions 10.6

Augustine of Hippo

Only the beautiful is loved . . . we cannot help loving what is beautiful.

On Music, 6.13

John of the Cross

I did not

have to ask my heart what it wanted,

because of all the desires I have ever known,

just one did I cling to

for it was the essence of

all desire:

to hold beauty in

my soul’s


Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, ed. Daniel Ladinsky (New York: Penguin Compass, 2002), 314.

Hans Urs von Balthasar

A moment of grace lies in all beauty: it shows itself to me far beyond what I have a right to expect, which is why we feel astonishment and adoration.

Epilogue, 66

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things.

“Pied Beauty,” 1877.

John O’Donohue

When we lose sight of beauty our struggle becomes tired and functional. When we expect and engage the Beautiful, a new fluency is set free within us and between us. The heart becomes rekindled and our lives brighten with unexpected courage.

The Invisible Embrace (New York: Harper Perennial, 2005), 6.

Dallas Willard

If your salvation does not include living with God in beauty, truth, and goodness, it’s going to be a very dry haul. And so much of our difficulty today for Christians in this world, and for the world without a vital Christianity in its midst—so much of the problem comes from having a Christ who has no association with beauty, maybe not even truth, not goodness. . . . A Christ without beauty, truth, and goodness is a testimony against the goodness of God, the grandeur of God.

Dallas Willard, chapel talk, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, September 12, 2011, 

Brian Zahnd

Our task is not to protest the world into a certain moral conformity, but to attract the world to the saving beauty of Christ.

Beauty Will Save the World, Charisma House, 2012, xvii.

Bernard of Clairvaux

How beautiful you appear to the angels, Lord Jesus, in the form of God, eternal, begotten before the daystar amid the splendors of heaven, “the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature,” the unchanging and untarnished brightness of eternal life? How beautiful you are to me, my Lord, even in the very discarding of your beauty!

On the Song of Songs II, Sermon 45.

Brian Zahnd

Every cross adorning a church is in itself a sermon—a sermon proclaiming that if Christ can transform the Roman instrument of execution into a thing of beauty, there is hope that in Christ all things can be made beautiful!.

Beauty Will Save the World, Charisma House, 2012, 60.

Thomas Dubay

We have been created and redeemed for the eternal ecstasy of an interpersonal immersion in the triune God, seeing infinite Beauty face to face.

The Evidential Power of Beauty, Ignatius Press, 1999, 275.

James Bryan Smith

I would later learn that these are two characteristics of beauty: it never stays, and it never fully satisfies.

Taken from The Magnificent Story  by James Bryan Smith. Copyright (c) 2018 by James Bryan Smith. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Søren Kierkegaard

When one has once fully entered the realm of Love, the world—no matter how imperfect—becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for Love.


My mind is bent to tell of bodies changed into new forms.

Laura Sobiech

“[Zach] had gone from seeing beauty in the midst of suffering to creating it. He had taken this thing that could have suffocated him with despair and stripped it down until all that was left was hope.”

Fly a Little Higher

Dan B. Allender

Desire lies at the heart of who God made us to be, who we are at our core. Desire is both our greatest frailty and the mark of our highest beauty. Our desire completes us as we become One with our Lover, and it separates us from Him and brings death as it wars against His will.”

Truth Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future

Søren Kierkegaard

When one has once fully entered the realm of Love, the world—no matter how imperfect—becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for Love.

Gregory of Nyssa

Our godlike beauty is hidden beneath curtains of shame.

Ursula K. Le Guin

“If you see a thing whole-it seems that it’s always beautiful. Planets, lives…But up close a world’s all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life is a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. You need distance…The way to see how beautiful the earth is, is to see it as the moon. The way to see how beautiful life is, is from the vantage point of death.”

The Dispossessed

Irwyn L. Ince Jr.

The mystery of perfection as an aspect of beauty is its transcendence. It points to a glory beyond itself. I knew that when I held my children, I didn’t simply cradle flesh and blood. I held a living soul who had not existed before the moment of conception and who would exist from that point into eternity. This perfection also includes hope that just as the wounds of the crucified, risen, and ascended Savior are in beauty glorified, the life he gives will speak a perfecting redemptive word over the wounds and flaws we all endure.

Taken from The Beautiful Community: Unity, Diversity, and the Church at Its Best by Irwyn L. Ince Jr Copyright (c) 2021by Irwyn L. Ince Jr. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Macrina Wiederkehr

Oh God help me believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is!

Seven Sacred Pauses, Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day

Vincent van Gogh

“You need a certain dose of inspiration, a ray from on high, that is not in ourselves, in order to do beautiful things.”

The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh, ed. Robert Harrison, trans. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger (New York: Bulfinch Press, 1991).

Rainer Maria Rilke

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.

The Book of Hours

 Kenneth Grahame

“He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before—this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free. . . . All was a-shake and a-shiver—glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated.”

The Wind in the Willows

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