15 August, Saturday — How Beautiful

Aug 15 – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary is taken up body and soul into the glory of Heaven, and with God and in God she is Queen of Heaven and earth. And is she really so remote from us? The contrary is true. Precisely because she is with God and in God, she is very close to each one of us. While she lived on this earth, she could only be close to a few people. Being in God, who is close to us, actually, ‘within’ all of us, Mary shares in this closeness of God. Being in God and with God, she is close to each one of us, knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, can help us with her motherly kindness and has been given to us, as the Lord said, precisely as a “mother” to whom we can turn at every moment. – Pope Benedict XVI

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2005/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20050815_assunzione-maria_en.html

Apo 11:19, 12:1-6,10
1 Cor 15:20-26
Lk 1:39-56

So will the king desire your beauty.

I recently attended a retreat, and one of the things I felt invited by God to reflect on was the concept of beauty. A few weeks leading up to that retreat, I was watching videos on what makes a lady elegant. I honestly didn’t understand that attraction towards beauty which was welling up in me.

Maybe I’m not alone. Maybe we are in a time where it makes it difficult for us to appreciate beauty. After all, we learn about logic, the current buzzwords include artificial intelligence, or looking for algorithms. We look for something functional, we assess the value of something with a number we can associate it with. We’ve tried to define everything around us that it’s difficult for us to be lost in beauty.

God has surrounded us with so many beautiful things. And this beauty is meant to reach deep in our souls. Seeing or experiencing something beautiful speaks volumes about God, and how much he loves us.

Maybe that’s the reason why Mother Mary is so important in our Faith. She is the fairest among all women. She is a reminder how beautiful God made each and everyone of us. I think many are attracted to Mother Mary because she is a proof of how much God loves each and everyone of us. And her beauty is not just external. It is flowing from the heart.

I used to think that the most effective way of evangelization is through rationalization. You know, logical arguments. In Bishop Barron’s video, he said that perhaps, the better approach is to start with beauty. From what is beautiful about our faith, we discover what is good. And then, we discover the truth.

And we are so fortunate because our faith is filled with many beautiful things, art included. I think God really wants to take the shortest way to our hearts. So let us let Him open our eyes to the beauty which attracts the kings.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me behold the beauty of the heavens which you use to envelope all of us with your love.

Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, Mother Mary who reminds us of how beautiful we can be in your hands.

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