Ernesto Cardenal says that we can argue about the reason for the universe and the meaning of the universe but not about the beauty of the universe. Annie Dillard comments that 'unless all ages and races...have been deluded by the same mass hypnotist (who?), there seems to be such a thing as beauty, as grace wholly gratuitous." We all share beauty. It strikes us indiscriminately. It may be when our child was born into this world; or a simple flower; or a song; or a smile on a face; or a great act of courage; or a dance well done; or a child's laugh; or a loaf of bread baking; or finding a worthy job; or a snowfall; or to his or her Source. There is no end to beauty for the person who is aware. Even the cracks between the sidewalk contain geometric patterns of amazing beauty. If we take pictures of them and blow up the photographs, we realize we walk on beauty every day, even when things seem ugly around us. The Navajo people have a prayer that deserves to be sung daily by all persons:
I walk with beauty before me I walk with beauty behind meI walk with beauty above meI walk with beauty below meI walk with beauty all around meYour world is so beautiful, Oh God.
Because beauty is a habit of the universe, it is essential that humans be about the good work of showering one another with beauty, and of bringing out the beauty of one another. Not to do this is to obstruct the universe's intention. Injustice, it seems to me, is always ugly. What is just is beautiful and brings back the beautiful to what was broken. All works of healing are works of making beauty, and all beauty heals. The composer Gustav Mahler said that our sole obligation in life 'is to be as beautiful as we can in every way. For ugliness is an insult to the beautiful God.'