It's a very Catholic idea. Give God your youth and your beauty. When you see young men and women, in the prime of life, handsome, beautiful, smiling, raidiant with joy, and they give it all up to be united with God as a priest or religious, what do you think? Catholics see it as a gift of something precious and beautiful. Some folks might sigh and say, "What a waste," but Catholics see it as giving it all to God. These courageous, generous men and women have chosen to give everything they have to God. They even give the things we think belong to us alone, like youth and beauty.
|Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist 2010 Aspirants (From the Sisters' Web site)|
Here's a video from the Dominican Sisters of Mary, who are one of the many new orders of sisters who are experiencing a dramatic increase in vocations. The average age of their aspirants is 21. The average age of their sisters is 28. They've grown from 4 sisters in 1997 to over 100 only 14 years later. Check out their website for more information: http://www.sistersofmary.org
It occurred to me yesterday while sitting in the pews at Sunday Mass and looking out upon the congregation of old people, middle aged people and young people, that those young mothers who are pregnant or nursing a baby or carrying a toddler on a hip, have given God their youth and their beauty too. When the culture tells us to look a certain way or to live a certain way, those who sacrifice their youth and their beauty in order to bring forth new life into the world are doing something heroic and they're sacrificing their figures, their restful nights and their energetic youth holding crying babies in the back of church or consoling a cranky toddler or trying to teach a young child to be prayerful and attentive at Mass.
Smile, be brave and know that you have given God a precious gift. You have given Him the gift of your youth and beauty. The amazing thing about God is that He will not be outdone in generosity. He'll take that gift you've given Him and transform it into the most amazing gift you've ever known. In the blink of an eye you're going to see your children grow up and become beautiful and handsome, strong and full of youthful vigor. Some of them might even get married and someday have children of their own. Your gift of youth and beauty will be multiplied many times over as each generation repeats the giving.