Delighting in the peonies

There's something about peonies that make the perfect harbinger to summer. I can't resist their impossibly big, round blooms. 

This morning I wove some into a crown for my 4-year-old daughter, who pranced around the backyard like a little woodland nymph. We breathed in the fresh June morning together, filling up on beauty. 

In classical tradition, truth, beauty and goodness are considered the three transcendentals -- the anchors of a free-flowing triangle, one leading to another. 

The Catholic Church recognizes their power in evangelization. The gentle -- and often, most effective -- approach is to begin with beauty. A flicker of beauty can point to goodnes and then a deeper truth. 

Sister Joan Roccasalvo, CSJ, reflected on these three forces in her Catholic News Agency column, "The Way of Beauty."

When I think about the influence of Catholic sisters, I contemplate their gentle touch -- the way they soften hard hearts with their goodness, the way they collect beauty in a fractured, sometimes ugly world. 

In doing so, they help open us up to wide, healing embrace of God's love.

To paraphrase Pope Francis, what would our world be without sisters?

This summer, seek out the beautiful and hold it up high so those around you can also be blessed by it. 

About Christina Capecchi

Christina Capecchi is an award-winning journalist from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She is the author of the nationally syndicated column “Twenty Something,” which appears in more than 50 Catholic newspapers across the country. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, America, The Chicago Tribune, The Star Tribune and The Pioneer Press. She also provides contracted editing and writing services. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s from Mount Mercy University.