To give a simple answer to the question ‘what makes something beautiful?’ is very difficult. If I were to venture an answer nevertheless, it would be this: that a thing becomes beautiful only if it can be fitted into the contours of a full life, fully lived, and lived for others. I think religion has a lot to do with it, since what appeals to us in beauty is the vision of a redeemed and rescued world, one that is lifted free from the tyranny of appetite and endowed with a sacred glow that somehow justifies it. This certainly helps us to remain healthy, since it reminds us that the emotional life is a disciplined affair, which requires constant spiritual exercise.
From a short interview which can be found here — Manner Of Man.