Beauty is only temporary

Beauty is only temporary
Wed, Sep 21, 2022, Kya Dia

The consideration of our nature is not only useful against pride; whatever passion torments us, be it the love of riches, or the disordered love of bodily pleasures, it will be appeased by this consideration.

Are you struck by a beautiful woman, with dazzling cheeks, a face resplendent with remarkable beauty, do you feel your soul igniting at this sight, your senses waking up; think that the object of your admiration is only a little earth, that the object of your flame is only a little ash, and you will cease to experience these senseless transports: remove from his face the veil of her skin, and you will see what is repulsive under this apparent beauty: do not stop at the surface, examine in your mind what it covers, and you will find only bones, nerves and veins. Imagine then this woman when she is changed; imagine her under the influence of old age, illness, sunken eyes, sunken cheeks, and all that flower of beauty vanished; then remember what you admired, and you will be ashamed of your judgment; for what you admired is only ashes and mire; and you set yourselves ablaze for a little ash and dust. I don't talk like that to stigmatize human nature; far be it from me this thought; what I want is not to depreciate and belittle her, but to prepare a remedy for the sick. By thus withering our nature, by making it so miserable, God wanted to show at the same time both his Power and his Providence towards us; while by the consideration of our misery He brings us back to humility, and represses our lusts, He gives us an idea of his Wisdom which could draw so much beauty from a little clay. In this way, it is by showing what is vile in man that I uncover the skill of his Author. In the same way, indeed, that we admire the artist less for a magnificent statue of gold, than for a statue of perfect beauty fashioned by him with a little clay; in the same way we admire and we glorify above all the divine Artist when we see Him imprinting on a little mire and dust an ineffable beauty, on our bodies the stamp of his infinite Wisdom.