Graduate students at Franciscan University of Steubenville came together on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in Froelich’s Dine and Bar for an inspiring talk about intimacy through beauty.
Entitled “The Beauty of Intimate Joy,” this talk was given by Bill Keimig, assistant director at the Catechetical Institute, who emphasized the meaning of beauty as relational.
Keimig unfolded the true meaning of beauty by saying that if created things are not seen in relation to the Creator then beauty simply becomes “something solely of creation” and not of the Creator. The relational aspect of how people encounter beauty in creation is found “when we look at beauty within the Creator,” he said.
Keimig explained that the heart of all created things lies in the presence of God because creation is how he “veils himself so that we can be free to approach him.” The simple act of being in the presence of Jesus, said Keimig, can fulfill a person’s longing for union with ultimate love.
The Eucharistic presence of Jesus is disguised in man’s creation, Keimig said, because God does not want to overwhelm man with his might. “We wouldn’t feel free in his presence,” he explained, citing the prophets who saw him face-to-face and fell prostrate in holy fear, unable to handle his overwhelming power.
The paradox of it all, said Keimig, is that God’s greatest act of beauty was Jesus crucified, so humanity now places the crucifix at the center of some of the most beautiful structures ever built by man. God wishes to show the contrast of beauty and allows for Jesus to be the center around which humanity builds to represent its greatest expressions of beauty, he explained.
Emma Sisk, a first-year catechetics graduate student, was in awe of Keimig’s eloquence in presenting the topic of the night. She said, “The way Bill has processed and presented the concept of beauty is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. I’d love to reach the understanding he has of how we are in a living, intimate relationship with our God.”
Amy Pequignot, a second-year catechetics graduate student, agreed with Sisk by adding, “From the opening prayer to the closing prayer, Bill’s passion for the beauty of the Eucharist was incredibly powerful.”
First-year theology graduate student Kyril Wolfe put it simply, saying, “I love my lover-man Jesus so much more right now.”
This is the second Theology on Tap of the semester. The next Theology on Tap will be on March 21 on the topic “The Sleep of the Virtuous” at Froelich’s Dine and Bar.