There's also an article by Dudley Plunkett on The Via Pulchritudinis: Beauty and the New Evangelisation which draws attention to this document from the Pontifical Council for Culture on The Via Pulchritudinis: Privileged Pathway for Evangelisation and Dialogue. There are lots of interesting passages but these two seemed of particular interest (though the translation isn't great for the first one):
To travel the way of beauty implies educating the youth for beauty, helping them develop a critical spirit to discern the various offerings of media culture, and aid them shape their senses and their character to grow and lead into true maturity. Is not "kitsch culture" only a typical outcry of those living in fear of responding to the call to undergo a profound transformation?
It is a matter of presenting with a language that speaks and is pleasing to our contemporaries and using the most apt means the precious witness given by the Mother of God, the martyrs and the saints who have followed Christ in a particularly "attractive" manner. Much is being done in catechetical programmes to let the extraordinary lives of the saints be discovered. It is clear today that, for young people, saints are fascinating—think of Francis of Assisi and José of Anchieta, Juan Diego and Theresa of the Child Jesus, Rose of Lima and Bakhita, Kisito and Maria Goretti, Father Kolbe and Mother Theresa and the theatrical works, films, comic strips, recitals, concerts and muscials that re-create their stories. Their example calls each Christian to be a pilgrim on the pathway of beauty, truth, good, in journeying to the Celestial Jerusalem where we will contemplate the beauty of God in a relation full of love, face-to-face. "There, we will rest and we will see; we will see and we will love, we will love and we will praise. Such will be the end, without end."
An appropriate education helps the faithful grow in the life of prayer of adoration and worship, and fuller participation in the truth to a liturgy lived in the fullness of beauty which immerses the faithful in the mystery of faith. At the same time as re-educating the faithful to marvel at the thinkgs that God works in our lives, it is also necessary to give back to the liturgy its true "splendour", all its dignity and authentic beauty, by rediscovering the authentic sense of Christian mystery, and forming the faithful so that they can enter into the meaning and beauty of the celebrated mystery and live it authentically.
Liturgy is not what man does, but is a divine work. The faithful need to be helped to perceive that the act of worship is not the fruit of activity, a product, a merit, a gain, but is the expression of a mystery, of something that cannot be entirely understood but that needs to be received rather than conceptualised. It is an act entirely free from considerations of efficiency. The attitude of the believer in the liturgy is marked by its capacity to receive, a condition of the progress of the spiritual life. This attitude is no longer spontaneous in a culture where rationalism seeks to direct everything, even our most intimate sentiments.
No less important is the promotion of sacred art to accompany aptly the celebration of the mysteries of the faith, to give beauty back to ecclesiastical buildings and liturgical objects. In this way they will be welcoming, and above all able to convey the authentic meaning of Christian liturgy and encourage full participation of the faithful in the divine mysteries, following the wish often expressed during the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.
Certainly the churches must be aesthetically beautiful and well decorated, the liturgies accompanied by beautiful chants and good music, the celebrations dignified and preaching well prepared, but it is not this in itself which is the via pulchritudinis or that which changes us. These are just conditions that facilitate the action of the grace of God. Therefore the faithful need to be educated to pay attention not merely to the aesthetic dimension of the liturgy, however beautiful it may be, but also to understand that the Litrugy is a divine act that is not determined by an ambiance, a climate or even by rubrics, for it is the mystery of faith celebrated in Church.