A New Aesthetic
In Plato, the theology of the Beautiful has a fundamental role: the wonder at the Beautiful awakens in man the memory of his divine origin and, little by little, helps him to enter again his journey towards God. The primitive Church, proclaiming the incarnation of God, reveals that the "Beautiful"; clothed himself in mortal flesh.
The Word was the true light, which enlightens every man: he came into the world ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory which he holds of his Father as an only Son, full of grace and truth.
But the contemplation of the beauty of the face of Christ awakens in man his true nature: by baptism, Christians become new men and manifest to the world the true love, that is to say, love for the enemy, love until giving ones life for the other. That is why there is a very close connection between beauty and evangelization: the beauty of the face of Christ is reflected in the beauty of the Christian community, the body of Christ living in history. It is the community that reveals the beauty of God's nature in communion and forgiveness. Jesus said, "Who saw me, saw the Father". Thus, who sees the Christian community, where love to the enemy is given, sees an icon of Christ.
Throughout history, the Church has always perceived this link between beauty and evangelization, and the Church has been the greatest "sponsor" of beauty. Everything reflects the beauty of Christ, the beauty of the community and fraternal communion. The evangelization of the Slavic peoples was mostly due to the beauty of the liturgy, the icons and the songs.
The Redemptoris Mater seminary of Avignon is part of this desire to put beauty at the service of people. Through this aesthetic, a seminarian feels loved by God, and this is fundamental so that he too can love in the mission that awaits him.