One of the characters in the series I’m reading asked this question, and I’ve been pondering it for the past week. I’ve almost concluded that the answer is “No”. Although it may differ slightly depending on personality types/temperaments.
Speaking as a rather sanguine individual, I do not think my heart could truly desire what my eye does not admire. I tend to be very external, I love beauty in the grand sense. Interior decorating was a natural profession choice as I am naturally drawn to beautiful things to an extent that I don’t think the average person “suffers from” ;). My jaw drops at the ornateness of Baroque wall furnishings, the delicate curve of a Queen Anne chair, and my fingers tingle at the touch of a well woven and patterned fabric on an old antique rocker. If I didn’t have this appreciation for decor, would my heart and mind seek external beauty in the decor realm? No. Which also makes me question whether I would seek Catholic art? Probably not. So would I seek the beauty and truth that the inside of my own parish church reflects? I doubt it, or at least I doubt as to how strongly. That’s not to say that my faith stems from interior decorating. Not at all. But rather, I was given the help of the external appreciation of beauty to aid me in seeking for Our Lord. The eye catches what the heart should seek. So in my case, I think no, the heart cannot desire what the eye does not admire.
Someone of a more internal personality then myself may not be affected the same way from external things. Their heart may know instinctively what to strive for without their eye first having to admire it, or their senses first having to draw them in. I imagine not everyone is the same. But could you overlook completely what the eye sees? You would not, for instance, desire to go into a decrepit shack, where you could instead go into a prettily pristine one right beside it, would you?
Of course there is also the truth that we live on faith, and desire God without having seen Him. But we have external beauty that leads us to Him, we do not solely desire Him without knowing even a glimpse of beauty. So for even internal temperaments, does the heart desire what the eye does not admire, truly?
Maybe I should continue pondering this… I don’t think my answer is as concrete as I thought… although I lean towards the answering being “No”.
Thoughts and comments welcome on this one.