Do nuns know how to be attractive?
Sisters have a real beauty that no make-up can provide, expressed by goodness, soul and ethical virtue
Lovers of the Holy Cross nuns take their religious vows on April 1 in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Photo courtesy of tonggiaophanhanoi.org)
Improving physical appearance is of great concern to women, who are considered to be the fair sex and the symbol of beauty. Women are quite justified in caring for beauty and paying much attention to making themselves more attractive as they want to be perfect in front of everyone, especially the people who are important to them.
Nuns are also women and the symbol of beauty, so I am sometimes asked why I do not wear make-up or whether I need to nourish my skin as I am about to take solemn vows.
I am touched by some people’s tender care of me. Those questions give me an opportunity to ask myself whether, as a nun, I am still beautiful and becoming more and more attractive to people, especially God.
It is said that "there are no ugly women, only those who do not know how to make themselves pretty." Are sisters unattractive and among those who fail to know how to beautify themselves? I am sure that not all nuns are of extraordinary beauty and that they are only ordinary women who know how to be pretty and make themselves nicer day by day. It is the real beauty that no make-up can provide. The beauty of religious is expressed by goodness, soul and ethical virtue.
First, they make themselves attractive by loving themselves, looking after their health, and keeping balance and moderation in their live. They adorn themselves with the beauty of simplicity and cheerful faces.
They also tend to have the beauty of geniality, tenderness, holiness and humility.
We possess unique beauty that is dignity and goodness placed in our hearts.
Nuns are decidedly lovely but for some reason they neglect themselves and their loveliness gradually fades away
Finally, they embellish the world with a quiet, gentle life to bear witness to God and serve people as servants.
Nuns adorn themselves with such precious beauty. Many nuns, dare I say it, become more and more attractive in the eyes of other people and God.
You can also find nuns who are not yet pretty as they have never been beautiful or they used to be beauties and gradually become less lovely.
I prefer the latter viewpoint as every person is a perfect creature made by God. We possess unique beauty that is dignity and goodness placed in our heart. Nuns are decidedly lovely but for some reason they neglect themselves and their loveliness gradually fades away.
The image of a young woman in the Song of Songs may be typical of this view. She is of breathtaking beauty but her skin is black, so she says: "Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun." It is not the fault of the sun as it just moves according to the laws of nature.
Before that, her skin must have been white but she paid no attention to her health under the constant pressures of success, power, duties and farm work.
We pray for the daughters of God to become more and more lovely before him
and his people so that when meeting them, people will see his holiness and grace
Similarly, nuns are placed under uncontrollable internal and external pressures that discourage them from tending to their own niceness. If they are not yet pretty, it is not due to their missions, duties and pressures of life but because they forget to take care of themselves and have not done rigorous examination of conscience due to human weakness.
Thus, every nun is always called to examine her conscience daily to adorn herself with divine grace and love.
God embellishes religious with his grace since he chooses and loves them. They should look at themselves closely in the mirror to see whether they are still beautiful before God and what makes them no longer attractive so that they can adjust every day.
We pray for the daughters of God to become more and more lovely before him and his people so that when meeting them, people will see his holiness and grace. Through their beauty, the Church is more beautiful and holier.
* The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News. This article was summarized and translated by a UCA News reporter from a Vietnamese article published by dongten.net here.