59 The Annulment of the Body’s Beauty
But many are attracted to beauty without giving glory to God for His fine creation. O, what a pity, the beauty of Absalom’s hair and his feature were a means for his death (cf. II Samuel 18).
When the children see a beautiful picture, or a mural, they are attracted and probably attached to it, by gazing at it for a while, happily. Do not be that child when you see beauty by standing and gazing into it, but rather read the good teachings, and the holy discipline in that beauty, and you’ll see it pointing to the greatness of the Creator and His utmost beauty. Remember that all the beauty you see is but a dot in the ocean of the beauty of the Creator, which is incomprehensible.
Do not be attracted by the beauty of the flesh, but contemplate rather on the inner beauty of the soul, and differentiate between the beauty of the spirit and that of the flesh. You will only find that the body is a banquet for the worms, producing a stinky smell. Do not look outside, but rather inside, to that which constitutes the inner part. Do not be attracted by the outer beauty for it is vain, and time tarnishes it, and sickness spoils it, and eventually dies. Do you see that beautiful and strong body which looks so handsome and attractive, one day it will be eaten by the worms and the least insects? Can you imagine that this wonderful attractive body will be dead and dumb one day? Do you see these attractive eyes, one day it will be transformed into dust, out of which it was taken from (cf. Genesis 3:19).
“All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass” (Isaiah 40:6, 7).
The beauty of youth should wither one day when age strikes it. True beauty does not wither or die, but it is unchangeable and does not wither, or spoil by death. This only takes place with the immortal soul, which was created on the image and likeness of God (cf. Genesis 1:26, 27).
Other beauty fades, and all charm vanish! If the soul were alert to its inner beauty, it would have despised all other beauties in the creation surrounding it. You can see and watch all the creatures and wonderful beings, but none were created on the image or likeness of God, but your soul, O beloved one, is the only thing, which God created to enjoy the extreme beauty that surpasses the mind.
If you desire true beauty, then beautify yourself with virtues and Christian discipline. Do not distort by a wrong vision and bad manners. Maybe you will see someone beautiful with an attractive look, but his soul is drowning in evil and distorted and distracted inwardly by sin, and blackened by many faults, while you see someone else who is ugly-feature wise-but his souls is illuminated by the beautiful virtues, and the holy Christian discipline. So, please, do not look for the outward beauty, but rather contemplate on the inward beauty always.