Beauty Will Save the World
Beauty will save the world.
This is what the pastor of my parish said during his homily at the Easter Vigil Mass this year. I believe this. Beauty can save young people from making choices that leave wounds and scars. Beauty can be a foundation for solid families. But, what is beauty? Is it a beautiful smile? Is it a pretty face? Is it a breathtaking sunset? Is it the birth of a baby? The answer is “yes” to all these things and so much more. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that says beauty is mostly about these things: a “hot” body, a “sexy” outfit, a “gorgeous” tan, “dazzling” pearly whites, and a “slick” car. These are the things our culture encourages us to pursue.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, beauty comes down to these 4 definitions:
1. the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit
2. a beautiful person or thing
3. a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality
4. a brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or instance
I cannot disagree with these definitions, especially the first one because that is the definition our culture has given us about beauty. But, what if I told you that is a lie. What if I told you that if you ONLY pursue that one definition of beauty that you will not find beauty at all? What if I told you that you could find just the opposite—that you may find hurt, wounds and despair? Would you pursue that type of beauty? The family is the first place that God wants to reveal His beauty to us and to each other. “The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish” - Saint John Paul II.
God is love and His beauty is extreme. So, what would happen if you pursued definition number 4? What if you went out of your way to be an example of true beauty? What if you were to “stand out” and be the extreme example in this culture? Could you do it? Are you willing to try?
Real beauty is found in many things, but most especially in chastity and modesty. Real beauty is found in young people that can embrace a chaste and modest life with confidence. Do you want to only get noticed for your external beauty? Then stop chasing the world’s idea of beauty and start chasing God’s idea of beauty. God’s idea really is the Cinderella story-- it is the happily ever after ending. It is sacrificial, patient, and good. Is it easy? No. Was it easy for Cinderella? Was it easy for Jesus? Before you think that Cinderella and Jesus are on the same playing field, know that I am just trying to relay a point. There is suffering that comes with beauty—whether you end up meeting Prince Charming or you meet the ultimate Prince of Peace. Don’t think for a minute that God is not interested in you having “pleasure that exalts the mind or spirit” through a rightly ordered life. Saint John Paul II said:
“Genuine love … is demanding. But its beauty lies precisely in the demands it makes. Only those able to make demands on themselves in the name of love can then demand love from others.”
Beauty is found in sacrificial love and in waiting. Beauty is found in union with Jesus on the cross. Your body is a temple. God reveals His love through the body. Make a decision today to take the culture’s idea of the “beautiful” body and save yours for the one who will join you in matrimony, or, if it is your calling, give that body to God for the sake of His Kingdom. This is what Jesus did. This is my body—given up for you. Don’t settle. Be a trail blazer! Set out on a path to redefine beauty in your circle of friends-both male and female. Encourage each other. Pray for each other. Beauty can save the world.
Now, go be beautiful!
Side note: I have a daughter that is actively pursuing chastity in her life, she's even writing a journal to her future daughter about chastity. She just came home from Spring Break last night and kept her goodness intact. I am so proud of her because it is so easy to give in. She came home joyful and happy. She came home and took out my wedding dress that I wore over 22 years ago and wanted to try it on. She dreams of the day that she will meet the man that will honor and love her, not just for her natural beauty, but mostly for her beauty within. Please pray for her as we will pray for all of you!