Beauty is the Convincing Power of Truth

Beauty is the Convincing Power of Truth


There are many angles a person could take when speaking about Truth, especially about Orthodoxy as the Truth. Elaborate lectures on the history of the Christian Church might be a place to start. But today I want to speak about something more basic than that. I want to speak about something that all human beings can agree exists and is praiseworthy – beauty. No, I don’t mean vanity which sometimes is called beauty. I mean Beauty.


Beauty is the convincing power of Truth, and that is perhaps the greatest proof that Orthodoxy is true. It tends to the needs of the whole human person, it is not merely for the mind, or the body, the emotions, or even for the spirit. It recognizes who man is – body and soul – and it offers something to each aspect of our person. It offers us beauty.

In every way, Orthodoxy is made up of and offers beauty. What poetry can compare to the hymnology of the Church? Or, what art can compare to the art of iconography? What about the structure of the services? What form, what order!


The order, the liturgical movement, the readings, and the hymns fill the mind with beauty. The icons, vestments, wood-carvings, and architecture fill the soul with beauty. The music, the bells, the melodic recitation of prayers fill the ears with beauty. The candle light, the incense, and the sweetness of the wine fill all the senses with beauty. In every way the human person encounters beauty.

How do we know Orthodoxy is true? We know it is true because it is for the whole person. It doesn’t compartmentalize. Body and soul are fed. And, hungry of body and soul, we seek succour from the Church because it draws us up out of the mire of our sins through our natural desire for beauty.

Orthodoxy gives us the Truth in external forms, and perhaps this above all else testifies to its claim to be the Apostolic Church.

To fill your senses with more beauty than can be contained in the above photos, watch the video above.

Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network.  You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+.

About author

Matushka Constantina Palmer

Matushka Constantina is the author of The Scent of Holiness: Lessons from a Women’s Monastery - published by Conciliar Press - a collection of stories about experiences and lessons she’s learned from visiting and working alongside Orthodox nuns in Greece. It is available for purchase in paperback and ebook formats on Amazon and Conciliar Press' website. To see the book trailer go here.

Originally from New Brunswick, a quaint province on Canada's Atlantic coast, she currently lives in Thessaloniki, Greece with her husband, a deacon in the Canadian Archdiocese of the OCA. She recently received her Master's degree in Theology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her thesis was entitled The Theological Presuppositions of the Orthodox Iconographer According to the Canons of the Stoglav Sobor (Moscow, 1551).

She has been painting icons for four years, and has been drawing for an infinitely longer time. Her writing skills are a result of keeping a journal since childhood, and a wonderful Great Books undergraduate degree. She is also a student of Byzantine Chant, taught by sisters of a nearby monastery. It is a three year program of which she has completed two years.

To read more of her work or to see some of her icons, sketches, and photos from her travels, visit her blog Lessons from a Monastery.