Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On the Rarity of Human Beauty

There is a reason why practically every Christian virgin martyr during the early persecutions was described as beautiful by outside observers.
The early Christian martyrs had the love of God burning within them. The love of God present in the human person makes one beautiful. And the deeper the presence of God in a human, the greater his or her beauty is.
It’s amazing how many men and women could be beautiful, if they wished to be – and how few of us are actually beautiful. There are many attractive women; after all, God designed women to be attractive to men! There are even many pretty women - the female face and form is pleasant for men to view. But beauty is a higher plane of attraction, implying a sensible, detectable level of goodness, present in the human body.
This is not to say that few of us are physically attractive. I have elsewhere distinguished between the terms sexy, pretty, and beautiful. 
There are few truly beautiful women – women in whom the love of God shines through, whose appearances reveal a willingness to follow God wherever He leads, whose voices reflect the sweetness and innocence of sanctity.
The few truly beautiful women I have been blessed to meet have nearly brought me to my knees – their appearance practically commands awe.
I am a male, so I naturally am more focused on the beauty of women. (I'm sexist like that. Sorry.) But the corollary is true in men.
There are few beautiful men – men in whom service becomes an elegant artform, whose voices resound with the power and authority of one who has mastered himself, in whom the power of protective strength is manifest.
Most, if not all, of us are capable of beauty - if we would simply forsake our own wills, and follow God's will.


  1. So is beauty a physical reality? Is beauty, qua a characteristic whereby the love of God shines through a person, something which is manifested in the physical form of that person? Or is it something that shines through that physical form, transcends it?

  2. I consider beauty to be a physical manifestation of goodness - so I would actually argue both are correct. There is clearly a physical element to beauty - but there is also an spiritual element to beauty as well.


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