Supernatural Aspects

June 9, 2014

 Stained glass window on Heaven

While the sublime can be considered from a purely natural and more metaphysical perspective, its highest expression is the supernatural. The concept of God naturally flows from a knowledge of sublime things. God created us with an appetite for sublime things because they are His masterpieces and speak most about Him. By knowing them, we are invited to know, love, and serve the sublime Being par excellence: God.*


That is to say, the great élan or driving force, which we naturally feel when we encounter the sublime in our lives, ultimately propels us towards a religious end. These sublime works are, in the words of Benedict XVI, “real highways to God, the supreme Beauty.”** In this sense, loving the sublime on earth is a preparation for the sublime of Heaven and the Beatific Vision where we will have the true plenitude of our contemplative joy in the contemplation of God Himself.

Photo of the Stripe-tailed Hummingbird by Basar.

Photo of the Stripe-tailed Hummingbird by Basar.

* The basis of this vision comes from the fact that God created a whole universe to reflect Himself since no one creature could sufficiently mirror Him. Each creature reflects something of the good, true, and beautiful existing in God. When we contemplate this great work of creation, we grasp better the perfection of God and experience the great spiritual joy of understanding the order and meaning of things. See Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, II, 45; Summa Theologica, I, q. 47, a. 2.

** Benedict XVI, General Audience, Aug. 31, 2011, accessed Oct. 16, 2012,



John Horvat, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 317.



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