by Kevin Birnbaum

Today’s first reading from Mass is beautiful, and difficult:

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also everyone for those of others. (Phil 2:1-4)

Unity is one of the necessary conditions of beauty, said St. Thomas Aquinas. Where there is selfishness and vanity, there can be no unity, and therefore no beauty.