What is the topic is the idea of Beauty Himself, as God is Beauty, as He is Truth, Love, the Good. The motto of my undergraduate college was Beauty, Truth, Goodness, as in the pursuit of through study. This is a good Benedictine approach to learning, as one becomes closer to God through study. The purification of the intellect, heart and will can happen through study and prayer aimed at Beauty, Truth and Goodness, that is God Himself.
Now, in Aquinas, God is so beyond what we see as Beautiful, as He Himself created all that is beautiful, that we must refer to Him as "super-beautiful". The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, existing from all time, was revealed to us at a particular time in history, but His Beauty is beyond time.
In 2009, I began to paint again after many, many years of setting this aside. I had cancer and needed some creativity other than writing prose and poetry. What I found was the same connection to Beauty Himself in the pursuit of art, which can be all-consuming, all attention being needed for at least a period of time. The pursuit of Beauty is lost in our world. Art has become political or cultural statement art. It reveals the ugly and the individualistic, rather than the sublime. A young woman being interviewed a few years ago at the Toronto Art Expo stated that all art was based on how an individual felt on a certain day and expressed that individual feeling. Yuck, stuff and nonsense. She said that, and I wish I were making this up, if she took mud and smeared in on a board, that was art.
I believe it is the duty of the Catholic to reintroduce Beauty to the world before it is lost forever to barbarism. Of course, the most beautiful thing in the world is the Tridentine Mass. There is a start in the re-education of men and women to the sensibility of the acceptance of Beauty Himself. We only need to fall in love with Love Himself to perceive the Beauty which is around us. And, the Tridentine Mass opens our hearts and our minds to this Beauty.
Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.
St. Augustine, The Confessions