Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What Make Us Beautiful?

"One need not adorn the beauty that we have" begins an article by a priest writing in a diocesan bulletin. He selects a number of  commentaries by a famous vocalist and a judge of auditions for vocalists on TV that he believes important for those who intend to follow a singing career. "A vocalist should not dislike their voice....If the vocalist is not familiar with their voice they will not sing well....The vocalist should not try to imitate the original singer of the song....More important than singing well is to convey what the vocalist wishes to express in the song....The tone-color of the voice, and what that is able to convey is more important than singing well."

Simply expressed, the priest says, when we sing with our voice and from the heart without adornment we are being authentic, and those listening will be moved. We want always to be ourselves, to love ourselves, and to express this in our singing--that is what is important.

Applying this advice to life, the priest goes on to say that we should at all times strive to be authentic and avoid being a copy of what we would like to be. We are made by God and loved and are his masterpieces (Ephesian 2:10). We are precious, loved by God and need to  love ourselves, which will enable us to be more free in whatever we are doing. God will then be able to work through us to accomplish his plans.

There is nothing we need do to receive God's love or to be considered precious.That is our birthright, he says. We can however refuse the love and ignore our preciousness.  We are not changed into a person that is precious; we are precious to begin with, and that is the reason we do not need to adorn who we are.

The priest ends his article by adding another statement of the vocalist: "We are not beautiful because we were born so, but because we lose ourselves in what we love; that is what makes us beautiful. This has nothing to do with our exterior." We are beautiful because we love ourselves, because we love others, and because we love God. When we sincerely love others, everybody becomes beautiful, regardless of what they may appear to be.

Anything said can be used in a way that fails to understand what was intended, and consequently becomes distorted. His article, if understood correctly, is not recommending vanity, self-absorption, or any unhealthy self-esteem. It recommends understanding who we are and doing away with the obstacles that prevent God's love from being accepted. His love will enable us to respond with love. When God is in the picture, whatever aberrations of unhealthy self-love remain are controlled. "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love" (1 John 4:8).