Beauty and the Beast

Posted by on Nov 22, 2011 in Blog/Articles | 0 comments

“How you have fallen from the heavens, O morning star, son of the dawn!  How are you cut down to the ground, you who  mowed down the nations!  You said in your heart: “I will scale the heavens; Above the stars of God I will set up my throne; I will take my seat on the Mount of the Assembly, in the recesses of the North.  I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will be like the Most High!  Yet down  to the nether world you go to the recesses of the pit!” -Isaiah 14:11-15

Satan was the most beautiful of all of the angels.  His downfall was his pride and his conceit.  For many of us, this information is nothing new.  However, this simple little story about the Fallen Angel can become a bit more enlightening if we look at it from The Devil’s own perspective.  Let us imagine, for a moment, being the most beautiful of all the celestial beings in the Kingdom of God (aside from God Himself) and, as a result of our pride (manifested in our desire to be greater than our Creator), we suddenly become the ugliest being on the face of the earth, cast away from every source of goodness and beauty for all of eternity.  We then become an abyss of despair, misery.  Satan is the very essence of the absence of goodness and beauty.

Imagine humanity.  No one human being could ever deny the comfort, the peace and consolation that beauty brings to the soul.  It nourishes us, it satisfies us deep within.  Think, for a moment, about the times in life where God has kissed you with His beauty; a stunning sunset over the waters, or through simply being given the chance to soak in the beauty of the foliage of Fall.

Western culture today perceives beauty as something that is not going to be surprising at all: tangible.  Beauty must be tangible and real.  We must be able to see, touch, taste, hear and smell beauty with the senses.  From this Beauty, we were created.  We are made in the image of a God who is both beauty and goodness.  Bearing His Image in body and soul, we are truly beautiful.  Although our beauty was marred by the stain of original sin, we still carry it.  Our choices determine whether we chose to perfect our natural beauty, or passively allow the absence of goodness and beauty to continue to mar us, until we reach the place where goodness and beauty are no more: Hell.

I went on Google Image and I was curious about what society’s definition of “God’s beauty” was.  So I typed it in the Image search and my eyes feasted upon a massive amount of pictures of sunsets and beautiful scenery, but very few, if any, of the images pertained to human beings, in particular, woman.

I recently wrote a short story about a girl named Maggie, who struggles with her body image and her appearance.  Her father takes her to the top of a mountain to behold a miraculous evening sunset: 

“See all that, Mags?” 

“Yeah, Dad.” 

“After God created all of that, he created me…but you were His final crescendo, His crown jewel upon the face of the earth.”

 More silence passed between them as Maggie thought of what her dad had told her.

 “Are you saying…that I’m more beautiful…than all of that?” she asked.

Women are beautiful.  A woman enveloped in God’s goodness, striving to fulfill His will in all humility doesn’t need to “do” anything to be beautiful, that’s just the way that she is.  Everything about her: her hair, her eyes, her smile, her kind nature, her body.  She is beautiful in her entirety.  What creature on this transient earth is more beautiful than woman?  When you peruse an art museum, whose glorious body do you find painted and sculpted most?

So here we are, in Satan’s shoes for a moment, beholding this beautiful creature: woman.  Deficient in the goodness and beauty that we were once so famous for, we can no longer enjoy it.  We can only despise it.  It’s what Lucifer once was, but will never be again: beautiful.

He is attacking woman from all fronts today; body and soul.  Those women that are more concerned for the exterior are thirsting for beauty, searching for it in all of the deceitful ways in which The Enemy has presented it.  Their perception that beauty can be attained is not false; indeed, beauty can be attained…but not solely by external means:

And let not your adornment be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” -1 Peter 3:3-4

A gentle or humble spirit is what Peter emphasizes here.  A heart is most beautiful in it’s humility, and Satan is the father of pride.

I am, by no means, ‘knocking’ women who wear makeup or jewelry, etc.  I think those are beautiful adornments for the already beautiful woman.  Notice, Peter doesn’t say: “And let not your adornments be external at all” he says: “And let not your adornment be merely external.”

I think this is really where a lot of Christian philosophy about women falls short.  In several Christian denominations, ‘plainness’ in women is encouraged.  While their modesty is applaudable, they hide away their beauty, denying themselves beautiful things, so that they will go unnoticed.  Well, they are doing exactly what their Enemy wants them to do.  God does not hide away His beauty from our eyes.  He makes it tangible.  He is tangible.  Can you see, taste, and smell Him?  Yes, yes you can.  He is there for you in The Tabernacle, tangible, and beautiful.  He is veiled, but desires to be sought out, just as any woman desires to be sought out or courted by a man.  This is one of the several ways in which His image is reflected through women.

St. Therese of Lisieux is a beautiful example of a “gentle and quiet spirit” who was “precious in the sight of God.”

“What beauty? I don’t see my beauty at all; I see only the graces I’ve received from God. You always misunderstand me; you don’t know, then, that I’m only a little seedling, a little almond.” – Saint Therese of Lisieux

All of this being said, I haven’t even touched base on the fact that women are also the only creatures that can share in God’s beautiful gift of creating and issuing forth new life.  I couldn’t describe this lovely phenomenon more eloquently than Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty:

The Most Important Person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral-a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body…The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share God’s creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother can. Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation…What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?

And so, beauty continues to be hunted by the beast who cannot bear the sight of her, because of the memories she incites about who he once was.  Many ‘beauties’ of this world do not even realize that they are being hunted.  They are pleasantly moseying along, picking flowers and failing to see the hidden motives of the beast behind all of the assaults they have endured from him…and it is only The King, and the King’s knights of this world, who can save them.

“She will crush your head, and you will lie in wait of her heel” -Genesis 3:15