By Emily Sullivan
Genesis chapter 6:2 states, "When human beings began to grow numerous on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw how beautiful the daughters of human beings were." Notice the absence of description about the daughters. The Bible doesn't describe the daughters, the women, as having long silky hair or having a tiny waist. There was no mention of the women having a flat stomach or flawless skin. The Bible only mentions the women to be beautiful. Not cute, not hot, not even pretty. Beautiful.
As women, we are given the gift of recognizing detail. However, we sometimes use this gift against ourselves. Living in such a culture that looks at beauty as a god, this is very easy to do. In Acts chapter 15:1a, the council of Jerusalem were telling men from Judea that unless they were circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, they could not be saved. Although the message is different in today's society, many of the "councils" of our time tell us women the same thing: unless you look like this and think like this, you will not be accepted.
But God looks at more than what meets the eye. God thinks of every single woman as beautiful. He takes into account everything we are, everything we've done, and everything we are going to do and still decides that we are beautiful. He thinks so highly of us women that he died a horrible death just for our beauty. Talk about love!
When we are created, we are each given a specific purpose for our life. Each purpose is different and unique, with no two being the same; however, God created two different kinds of people: men and women. Both kinds have purposes that they reach to fulfill together. As women, we were given the gift of beauty, which is the greatest of them all. With this gift, we have the ability to persuade and change a man's mind and behavior. In today's society, we are taught to use this gift to our advantage. To use our beauty only for its physical attributes in order to bring us happiness and ‘love.’ However, as Catholic women, our mission is to redefine the meaning of feminism. We are to use our beauty for God in order to bring others to God.
The Merriam-Webster definition of the word beauty is the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit. Clearly, this is a worldly definition because it speaks nothing of the beauty of the mind or the soul. It talks of physical beauty, and how it affects the mind and soul, but it does not mention how spiritual beauty is the most powerful.
When we use our beauty to live for God, change happens. Change happens when we dress modestly. Change happens when we guard ourselves from specific evils. Such change includes the way others treat us, the way we gain respect and responsibility, and the way we encounter many blessings from God.
As Catholic women, lets unite. Let’s change the norm of the world. Let’s use our beauty to redefine women and the gifts we possess for the glory of God!