In Mary’s life, the grace of God, which had filled her from the first moment of her being, was not “received in vain” (cf. 2 cor 6:1). She was always “full of grace,” the “all beautiful,” as we call her in the Marian antiphon. What is the secret behind the beauty of Mary’s life? The Virgin Mary was the transparency of God. Mary used to listen to God and spent much time in dialogue with Him. “The Word of God was her secret: close to her heart, it then became flesh in her womb. By dwelling with God, in dialogue with him in every circumstance, Mary made her life beautiful.” (Pope Francis, Angelus, 8 December 2017). It is not the outward appearance that makes a person beautiful. What makes a life beautiful is having a heart that is open to God, docile to God, and full of God.
“What is the secret behind the beauty of Mary’s life? The Virgin Mary was the transparency of God.” Bishop @silviojbaez #ImmaculateConceptionTweet
Beauty is like the gleam of harmony. It is essential to the notion of the beautiful that beauty should be united to truth and goodness. The irradiation of that harmony between truth and goodness is beauty. God is supreme goodness, supreme truth, and supreme beauty, which in Christ has been fully revealed as redeeming love. The famous Russian writer Dostoyevsky said that beauty would save the world. Beauty awakens our spirituality, brings out the best in us, captivates us, makes us transcend the merely material, and makes us enter the world of generosity and contemplation.
Unfortunately, many people are deprived of beauty because where sin breaks down dialogue with God and distances us from love, beauty disappears. For this reason, we must turn our eyes to Mary, whose beautiful, luminous, inspiring existence continues to attract us, the disciples of her Son, who contemplate in her the best realization of the Gospel and the ideal of the Church’s vocation. The Virgin Mary, the “all beautiful,” the “full of grace,” is the creature in whom the paschal beauty of the new life of the Risen Lord was reflected in the purest way.
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (excerpts)
7 December 2021
“Where sin breaks down dialogue with God and distances us from love, beauty disappears. For this reason, we must turn our eyes to Mary.” Bishop @silviojbaez #ImmaculateConceptionTweet