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MIC Mission News – Spring 2024


Stopping to Cotemplate

By  Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

When I saw Martin Beaupré’s painting Il n’y a pas de séparation entre nous et l’univers, I was captivated by its beauty and depth. It transports us to the heart of infinity, where we discover a Presence.

Indeed, lost in space, I contemplate You, Creator God, You who are at the heart of the beauty that surrounds me. Before this immensity, my heart is aflame, and in a burst of gratitude I cry out, My God, You are great, You are beautiful! At the moment of creation, God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (Gen 1:31)

This spring issue of MIC Mission News takes us on several journeys that converge at the heart of divine magnificence. After stops in Japan and South America, we’ll be returning home, where nature, joy and silence speak to us of beauty. Each person sees it differently, it’s a marvelous phenomenon. Beauty depends on what’s in each person’s heart; it’s a matter of perception.

In our fast-paced world, it is difficult to stop and enjoy the silence and interiority that are so beneficial. Our Sister Kyoko Takahashi, origi- nally from Japan, grew up in a Buddhist culture. When I interviewed her, I was able to trace the origins of her missionary vocation. Dear readers, take the time to savor these articles, which approach beauty from a variety of angles. Stop for a few moments to interiorize the present at the heart of our world and discover the hidden face of its splendor...

Enjoy your reading!



In Focus - The Beauty

A Meditation on Beauty

By Emmanuel Bélanger

In this little meditation on the theme of beauty, I’ll be following in the footsteps of writers, thinkers and popes who have attempted the impossible: to say something that truly does it justice.

The ancient Greeks and Romans had already understood that the idea of universe or world—the Greek cosmos and the Roman mundus respectivel—referred to a harmonious whole, to celestial beauty and purity. The world was such when civilization, at its best, enabled everyone to live a good and beautiful life together. This was reflected not only in the harmony of civic life, but also in the glory and beauty of the nine arts or, should I say, the nine Muses.

In the face of beauty, man recognizes, often subcon- sciously, something beyond himself, something he cannot appropriate. We’ve all experienced this feeling of transcendence, ecstasy and wonder. The phenomenon is so intense that psychologists refer to it as « Stendhal syndrome ».

It is such an admiration of beauty, such a powerful experience, that the person feels emotionally overwhelmed by the sublime. The French writer Stendhal, in his account of a trip to Italy, recounts what he experienced during a stop at Florence’s Santa Croce Basilica: « I had reached that level of emotion where celestial sensations given by the arts and passionate feelings come together. Coming out of Santa Croce, I had a strong heartbeat; it was as if my life had dried up, I walked fearing I would fall ».

I therefore invite you to live this spring and Easter season as a call to be attentive to the beauty of the Creation that surrounds us, whether by contemplating trees and plants, by disconnecting from the virtual world to put down roots in reality, or simply by allowing a beautiful gesture to emerge from the depths of your heart, enabling your fellow man to set off, joyful and confident, on the path of beauty...

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© 2019 - Presse Missionnaire MIC / MIC Missionary Press
Numérisation des documents / Documents scanning: Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Les Sœurs Missionnaires de l'Immaculée-Conception

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