The Beauty Attached to Every Human Soul

We should never look at a person without there being present before our eyes the entire gravity and solemnity of the things that are the objective theme of very human soul. Against this background the defects of any person will appear not as so many trivial irritants or repellent traits, but in their character as sins or consequences of sin, possibly as something terrible or monstrous, but at any rate as something that betokens the wretchedness of human nature in its universality, and above all, something that causes us to think of both the justice and the mercy of God. Moreover, even against the background of sin the greatness of the spiritual person as an image of God, the fact of the Incarnation uniting and elevating—in the sublime beauty of a human soul in the state of grace, must remain present to our vision. Thus do we establish a decisive condition for charity and spontaneous kindliness to rise in our souls. How should love blossom in us, unless we penetrate the ultimate reality and grasp the beauty attached to every human soul?
--Dietrich von Hildebrand, Transformation in Christ, New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1948, 197-198.

This quotation is part of a three-part series of passages reflecting on David O'Hanley's post to "The Apartments."

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