"I see Jesus every day 'giving his back to the smiters' (Isa 50:6)."
-Origen, Homilies on Jeremiah 18:12
In the earliest centuries, the Gnostic sects sought to destroy the truth of the beauty of God's creation by declaring all material things to be evil. Arius sought to destroy the beauty of the Incarnation by declaring that Jesus was not God, but a created being.
Heresy cannot handle beauty. It cannot handle the subtle beauty of God's creation, the sweet rapture of an individual Christian receiving the actual Body and Blood of Christ; it cannot handle beauty in music, and so creates cacophonies of arrogant noise as a substitute. Heresy cannot handle real prayer, and so invents a variety of warped and distorted forms that lead one further and further away from God.
Heresy hates beauty because true beauty is found in Christ. The only reason we know what beauty is is because something is Beautiful - someone is Beautiful And I think that heresy cannot handle this. Just as the darkness flees from the light, heresy flees from beauty. It uglifies and destroys all that is sacred, destroying and pillaging anything its wake. If it is unable to destroy beauty, then it distorts it, bending and breaking it down for its own purposes. Heresy will deny the Truth of Christ to its last breath, heresy will kick and scream against anything true, anything beautiful, anything good, because its very nature cannot handle it. The existence of heresy is in direct opposition to beauty. It is not a series of "free-thinking" individuals who broke away from human responsibility, both social and spiritual, but rather a way of avoiding the hard realities of life, and the fact that Christianity only tells us to take up our crosses and follow Christ - we will rest one day, but not now.
But with Christ omitted from the picture, heresy has nothing to offer but deception and temporary spiritual fixes. It can offer nothing but food that will burn and leave us still unsatisfied. But Christ offers us Himself, and this food, this Body and Precious Blood is what satisfies. Only God will satisfy us. Heresy cannot and will never be able to handle this.
But what will always shock me until my last breath is how so many are enticed by heresy at all.