For the Love of Beauty
Rose Petals Descending on Pentecost at Pantheon in Rome
Renata Grzan Wieczorek
“Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty, so ancient and so new.”
My reference for calling God “Beauty” comes from St. Augustine in his Confessions (Book 10, Chapter 27), and is commonly translated as, “Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty, so ancient and so new.”
The entire chapter, where St. Augustine is reflecting back on his own conversion from a life of profligacy to one of love and intimacy with God, is below, with links to the entire book and audio book as well.
Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the lovely things thou hast made. Thou wast with me, but I was not with thee. These things kept me far from thee; even though they were not at all unless they were in thee. Thou didst call and cry aloud, and didst force open my deafness. Thou didst gleam and shine, and didst chase away my blindness. Thou didst breathe fragrant odors and I drew in my breath; and now I pant for thee. I tasted, and now I hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for thy peace.
Taken from this translation of his Confessions, which is in the public domain.
You also can listen to the Confessions here. The above-quoted section begins at the 8.05 minute mark.