A quote from Josef Pieper on our response to beauty:
The highest intensification of life, the absolutely perfect activity, the final stilling of all volition, and the partaking of the utmost fullness that life can offer takes place as a kind of seeing; more precisely, that all this is achieved in seeing awareness of the divine ground of the universe….
A few generations before Plato, the Greek Anaxagoras in answer to the question of what he had been born for, replied: “For seeing.”
And in Plato’s Symposium, Drotima clearly expresses the traditional wisdom of the visio beatifica: “This is that life above all others which man should live, in the contemplation of divine beauty; this makes man immortal.”
My commentary on this from November, 20, 2015:
And this is the life of ‘philosophy’, the life I too want to live, in beholding the form of God and the manifold forms coming from Him, that I may recognize the signs of the divine and delight in their beauty.
Since I already can appreciate the obviously beautiful, I need to grow in my ability to see underlying beauty in outwardly hideous circumstances.