“In his De Musica, Augustine proposed that numerical ratios are but the echoes of the perfection of God. In music these ratios are audible; in architecture they are visible. The most admirable ratio is 1:1 since here the unity of relationship is equal and perfect; then came 1:2, 2:3, 3:4. Through the contemplation of the visible configurations of architecture, the mind is led to proportion, from proportion to number, and from number to the idea of God. This thesis of perfect ratio became the first purely mediate religious symbol in Western church architecture” (673).
The Renaissance focused on this symbolism and therefore rejected the previous basilica plan because it was mathematically and therefore architecturally imperfect. Instead, they preferred the “central plan” or circle plan “in which geometric pattern generates the form with all its parts; this provides a most lucid, absolute, and immutable architecture” (674). This architecture raises people’s thoughts to an “absolute” and “immutable” God (674). “For [L.B. Alberti, A. Palladio, and Serlio] the regulation of all parts of a church according to these ratios could manifest something of the nature of God” (674).
WALL, D. R., et al. “Church Architecture, History of.” New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., vol. 3, Gale, 2003, pp. 669-718. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://link.galegroup.com.aapld.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/CX3407702431/GVRL?u=algo36745&sid=GVRL&xid=4d3c5c37. Accessed 30 Nov. 2018.
Because creation is beautiful, we know that the Being who created it must be beautiful as well. And not only this, but He is perfection of beauty, for to be able to create something, the Creator must be greater than His creation. There must be something or Someone that is the epitome of beauty in order for the lesser existence of beauty in the world.
Thoughts inspired by reading: Because God is beauty and God created living creatures and beautiful things, God is in beautiful things, for when you create something, part of who you are is echoed and a part of that created thing. You cannot make something that does not in some way reflect who you are. Therefore, beautiful art in churches and beautiful churches themselves have God in them to a certain degree.
Article from The beauty of the unchangeable creator is to be inferred from the beauty of the changeable creation
“…the beauty of created things can never fully satisfy. It stirs that hidden nostalgia for God…”
“Every genuine art form in its own way is a path to the inmost reality of man and of the world. It is therefore a wholly valid approach to the realm of faith, which gives human experience its ultimate meaning.”
“There is therefore an ethic, even a ‘spirituality’ of artistic service, which contributes in its way to the life and renewal of a people.”
Art is beneficial for the well-being of society. Art is a gateway to faith, and it reflects the mystery of God. God is beauty, so art that is truly beautiful is of God.
Thoughts: This truly beautiful art should be in churches. In this way, art presents to people an aspect of God that is necessary for a more complete understanding of Him.
Article from Letter Of His Holiness Pope John Paul II To Artists.
Exodus Chapters 25-26
These chapters detail the specifications God gave to Moses in order to build, “…a sanctuary for [God], that [He] may dwell in [the Israelites’] midst.” Among the things God told them to use was gold, gems, and elaborately embroidered fabric. This sanctuary was the Ark of the Covenant.
This is evidence that God approves of us using very expensive items to build sanctuaries for Him. A Church is a sanctuary, so this excerpt supports that God has approved of using money to make a beautiful church in some cases.
Citation: The New American Bible. Revised ed., Confraternity of Christian Doctorine, Inc., 2010.