Dear Padre, sometimes one meets a beautiful girl that is very kind and even makes one cry. Beauty hurts, they say. What is the Catholic way to deal with these emotions and how is God involved in this?
Are these emotions even something good?
Hi, Jan - thanks for the question:
The way to deal with the emotions you describe are to see how they are ordered to a greater good that serves ourselves, another, and society as a whole. We can certainly see the good in such attractions; and yet we need to look at the bigger picture of how they can be ordered to something greater than what is merely good in themselves.
God created the human heart to find beauty in other things and persons outside of ourselves. This is how human beings come to experience the good in life and enter into it in a way that is good for all. The emotions of attraction to beauty is something good. In them we experience a movement in the will toward our self-preservation and the preservation of the human species: A man and woman find mutual attraction that is ordered toward wanting to spend the rest of their lives together to mutually support one another, and to build up a family that receives the gift of life through procreation for new souls to know, love, and serve God in this world in order to be happy with Him in the next life. What you describe is a natural part of life - something of the created order and beauty of God's creation and plan for us.
Fr. Timothy Johnson