Saturday, September 27, 2008

Achieving Real Beauty

I recently wrote about my reluctance with having my daughters grow up to be beautiful women.

Then, later in the week, I was perusing an old prayer journal where I’d scribbled down “Canticle of Mary” and beside it the words “achieving real beauty.” This intrigued me. I read the Canticle of Mary or Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), and the first and perhaps most famous lines jumped out at me: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

I’ve always thought of Mary as beautiful. But it’s not because she wears flashy clothes, has lustrous hair and flawless skin, or a perfect body. It’s because her soul – her entire being – proclaims the greatness of the Lord. She is what every woman should strive to be: pious, humble, gentle but strong, feminine and blessed.

Once my preschooler was gazing up at a statue of Our Lady when she said, “Mommy, isn’t she pretty?”

“Yes,” I said. She’s the most beautiful woman in the world.

So I stand corrected. I do want my girls to be beautiful. As beautiful and lovely and worthy of roses as Mary.

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