“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Cor. 13:1)
I was walking into the store today to buy a bar of soap. I had no idea why I had forgotten it on my regular shopping trip but my soap bar was now down to the size of a quarter so I had to get one. I wasn’t in a hurry so instead of heading right to it, I found myself walking among the aisles amazed at all the products. There were several brands of soap and bottles of liquid soap too.
There were shampoos for oily, dry, and baby’s hair. There were so many types of toothpaste and mouthwash. There were shaving creams, shaving lotions, and aftershaves. There were acne pads, deodorants, and body sprays. There were hand lotions, face lotions, and body lotions. There were hair dyes, lip sticks, eyeliners, foundations, and blush. There were dozens upon dozens of items all designed to keep us looking young and beautiful.
As I walked among them, though, I kept remembering a picture I had seen the other day. It was of an old woman. She was so ancient that it was impossible to guess what her age might be. Her thin gray hair was pulled back on her head. Her skin had grown coarse and leathery. Her forehead, eyes, nose and cheeks had the deepest of wrinkles. All of her teeth were gone except for one small one in her lower jaw. By all of our modern day beauty standards she would have been called ugly. Yet, when I saw the sparkle in her eyes and the happiness in her smile I could tell how beautiful she was. She had lived. She had loved. And her face was a testament to that.
Saint Augustine wrote that “Love is the beauty of the soul.” That beauty doesn’t just stay in the soul, however. It shines forth in our faces and in our lives. It radiates out in everything we say, everything we do, and every smile we share. It is seen by God and everyone else in this world. Fill your soul with love then. Fill your life with living. Fill your days with joy. Make yourself beautiful from the inside out, today, tomorrow, and forever.
By: Joseph J. Mazzella