Feminine Beauty is a Reflection of the Divine Beauty of God

Notre Dame, Montreal

“Beauty is not the icing on the cake; it is one of the 3 layers of the cake. It is the child of the marriage of truth and goodness. It is ‘the splendor of truth’ (to quote John Paul the Great’s great title) that attracts us to truth, and it is the ‘beauty of holiness’ (Psalm 29:2) that attracts us to holiness. Beauty is one of the things God is. It is ‘the glory of the Lord’ (to use von Balthasar’s title), the ‘divine Beauty ever ancient yet ever new’ that won Augustine’s restless heart. Beauty is a magnet and our souls are iron filings, and when we sense beauty we speed home.”
~~Peter Kreeft, Jesus Shock

God is beauty.

Feminine beauty is a reflection of this.   Beauty causes the perceiver to look more deeply and what they should see is that the outward beauty points to an inner virtue and holiness.  IOW, outside beauty is the herald of true goodness.  The female should cultivate her outward beauty only as way to attract others to her so she can use her feminine influence to point them to the Divine Beauty of God.   This is the only honest use for it.  God has given women the privilege of reflecting something of His Divine Beauty.  God is inherently beautiful due to His goodness and His truth.  When we women use this attribute for any other purpose, it’s essentially worthless.  This gift of beauty, given to the female, should be a reflection of her inner goodness and her steadfast committment to the truth of God in Christ Jesus.

If we approach our appearance from this understanding of beauty as a reflection of God, holiness and truth, it will be our guide in helping us avoid excessive garishness on one end of the spectrum and excessive modesty on the other.  It will remind us that anything we do to our outward appearance will only have value if it’s a reflection of our inner attitude and holiness.

Men built the cathedrals with great beauty and splendor because they instinctively knew that our houses of worship should point to the awesome beauty of God.  They knew that beauty should draw worshipers in and cause their attention to be lifted up to the Source of all beauty.  We call the Church our Mother.  It’s her beauty, majesty, goodness, and truth that points us in the right direction beyond herself to the One from which all her attributes radiate.

I have often seen comments around the internet of women who lament that because we refer to God as He, that they feel excluded from God and there is nothing of femininity in God.  This is not true.  God is spirit.  God is not male nor female.  All the good attributes that we find in God we find in all humanity, male and female.  The masculinity of God in relation to humanity has to do with His loving us first and our feminine response to that love which we return to Him.  (John 4:19) God’s masculine relation to us should not be confused with His being male in the human sense.  Christ, in His humanity, is male as a reflection of God’s masculine relation to humanity.  He is the Bridegroom and the Church is His Bride. All that is good in masculine AND feminine attributes come from God who encompasses all goodness.  God is One but He is also Three Divine persons who participate in the giving, receiving and the giving of love in return among them.  There is nothing about the female person that isn’t also a full reflection of God.  Beauty is one of the ways females showcase a particular aspect of God.  Our nurturing, protecting, life-bearing, feeding, teaching, loving and responding to love are other ways we reflect God to others.

Women, rejoice in the beauty you have been given.  Nurture and cultivate it but not to the exclusion that you nuture and cultivate the good and the holy in your soul.  Let your beauty draw others to you so you can point them to the Source of Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

Image result for mary points us to jesus painting

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2 thoughts on “Feminine Beauty is a Reflection of the Divine Beauty of God

  1. I liked this post, and it reveals some of the insight the Church Fathers taught well over a thousand years ago. Your thoughts about feminine beauty remind me of St. Ephraim the Syrian’s poetry on St. Mary. He used a lot of imagery to describe her and Jesus, and his hymns were used to combat heresy.

    Speaking of heresy, I think your post comes at a good time where there is a lot of online and offline talk about how women should deny their femininity, or their femininity exists to please men. A lot of the RP women out there do their share of extolling the latter, and IMO it shows their unorthodoxy. St. Ephraim knew how to fight fire with fire there.

    The people who preach these things forget that God created and “it was good.”

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    1. Maea,

      You’re right, of course. Feminine beauty is not FOR the pleasure of men, even if they do derive much pleasure from looking at and delighting in it. Everything in God’s creation points to it’s Creator and helps us to know something about Him. As far as women’s beauty, which should be a reflection of virtue, cause man to contemplate God, then it has fulfilled it’s purpose. When her beauty is seen as ONLY something that he can use to satisfy his carnal urges or that he’s entitled to because he’s a man, then this is a perversion.

      I’ve never really explored much about St. Ephraim the Syrian’s writings so you’ve given me new territory to explore. Thank you!

      TCW

      Like

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