Man is the only thing in the universe capable of seeing beauty.
Chimpanzees don’t spend hours contemplating the harmony of their mate, or the coloring of autumn leaves. No dolphin goes into ecstasy over the glories of the ocean, nor any flamingo over the slimness of his pink spouse.
The animals do what they do without stopping to reflect. Nature herself is unconscious of her beauty. She simply is.
A Hierarchy of Perfection
St Thomas Aquinas defined beauty as “that which when seen, pleases”. Beauty needs someone to see it to appreciate. A lovely woman can marvel at a chimp. The chimp does not marvel back.
Dr. Alice von Hildebrand half-jokingly comments that God created nature in a hierarchy of perfection; He started with gases and stars, coalesced them into a higher forms earth and rock, flourished life from the lifeless and created plants, and continued up the ladder to the pinnacle of Creation, Man. But He didn’t stop there, the last thing He created was Woman, the cherry on the cake.
Jason Evert jokes in his ‘The Pure Life’ EWTN Homevideo Series that men don’t spend hours looking at flowers and sunsets. No, it is a universally accepted fact; the most beautiful thing in the universe is a woman, celebrated in art, poetry and history, in war and legend and myth.
With a Twist
But God threw a spin on her; while her physical side is often glorious, He wired her to be more spiritual, to look for and love the personal, the intimate and the sensitive. Since the deepest darks of our past, Bedouins, Persian Shahs and Vikings have guarded their treasures in locked caves with armed guards.
It is a historical tragedy that Woman has had to bear the untrammeled weakness of men and either shroud themselves into invisibility, or shreave themselves of all veils and dignity. Objectification comes easily to men, breeding generations of repressed resentment among women.
And they are rightfully resentful; they are not recognized for their abilities, talents and their feminine genius, as advocated by Bl. John Paul II. Christian culture at its core does not veil womanhood as if she were a delicate commodity, or a pedestaled, veiled Venus.
Truly lived, Christianity recognizes and values the physical and moral glory of Woman. It understands the deepest needs of human nature and self-expression, and just as clearly understands concupiscence (the tendency of our broken natures toward evil) and our correlation to grace.
With a tender love of Male nature, and a deep respect for the sensitivity of Female nature, Christian culture veils her the way we veil our treasures and our tabernacles. Treat her like a lady. If you don’t believe that women are all that special, think again; TV knows it. Media knows it. Advertizing knows it. A product sells better with a woman’s smile, or a woman’s charm.
Woman sits in a special throne; she is the ultimate beauty in the universe, and men would rather forsake all creation to possess her. And yet, since this universe is a complex web of spiritual fibre-optics humming with holy software, how we all interface with God and His Divine Life increases or decreases the deeper value of beauty.
More than Skin Deep
Because Woman is not all body. She is attitude and soul, intelligence and intuition – a complete package. And she is powerful. She has power beyond imagining in her charm, attention and most often, her smile. A woman’s smile is often credited with melting the hardest wall.
All of that is pure paper to a good woman, who can go right through our masculine armor the way Christ walked through walls. What power you have when you veil your strength in delicacy, your beauty in elegance and your value in holiness. To good men, you become one thing; irresistible.
There is a jingle; “we hide what is holy, and we veil what we hail”. Ladies who show themselves off, either in porn or revealing ‘practical’ wear are selling themselves cheap. They’re not making us men work for anything. We’re getting to see the most gorgeous and sacred thing in the world… for free.
And as they say, “easy come, easy go”. We forget just as easily. No laborious rites of induction or initiation, no seven trials or seven years of struggle for a reward. No wonder respect for women is so low.
Women, you want and need men to fight for you, to overcome themselves and their weakness for you, to climb the tower all the way to the top to pluck the prize, not pick you up from the side of the road. Fallen apples don’t have the same value.
Girls need to understand or tell themselves, “I am so beautiful and special that a man has to marry me for the rest of our lives to have and see me. He has to commit himself to me for life if he wants me to give him my deepest prize; my self, my trust and my life.” Men need to know the same: “She is so special and beautiful that I don’t deserve even a peep unless I give her my whole life.”
The most beautiful thing in the universe is worth the most difficult challenge.
Men will be always climbing that tower, because she is always making it higher, until it becomes a ladder to heaven, and you find that angels have been going up and down around the two of you the whole time.
Through this eternal bond, Heaven opens on earth like a rift between dimensions, and the grace of God spills through to sustain and create life.
The most beautiful thing in the universe is a woman. https://t.co/M592elh3m6
— CatholicAuthor (@CatholicAuthor) March 16, 2014
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