Preface by the Web Master:
As the Saint-Author says, "where will we find the vivid colors ...?" We can never adequately provide a beautiful enough portrait of Our Lord, the radiant beauty that is hidden within the little consecrated Host at Mass, because we are not sanctified enough for the Beatific Vision. This depiction of Jesus Christ is perhaps among the most popular and beloved.
The Beauty of Jesus
by St. Leonard Port-Maurice
AFTER having formed a correct idea of the adorable Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of this Man-God, announced by so many prophets, patriarchs and oracles, pre-figured by so many symbols, adored by all as the Saint of all Saints and Whom all have saluted from near or afar exclaiming: "Thou alone art holy; Thou alone art the Lord; Thou alone art the Most High, Jesus Christ;" let us begin now to Contemplate His beauty. I am not speaking of the beauty of His Divinity, since our gaze cannot penetrate such heights, but of His beauty as a Man, in view of the fact that Jesus Christ is not only a Man truly Divine, but also a God truly human.
But where will we find colors vivid enough to paint the beautiful features of this Man-God? Here I admit defeat because that is an undertaking far surpassing the power of the human mind. It was reported that the King Abigar having heard about the marvels of Our Lord Jesus Christ, sent an excellent artist to paint a true portrait of Him, but the beauty of this Divine Face was so extraordinary and the light coming from His eyes so radiant that the poor artist was completely dazzled and could not see clearly. That is why Jesus, according to what one reads in Baronius, touched with compassion by all the trouble which the man endured in vain, took a linen cloth, applied it to His Face and left upon it the imprint of His features, as if it had been traced by the most delicate paintbrush and then sent it to the pious monarch who desired it. And when the Bride of the Sacred Canticles celebrates the charms of her Beloved: My Beloved is white and ruddy, (Canticles 5:10) she depicts Jesus Christ white and ruddy like the most beautiful rose.
Imagine for yourself, indeed, the Man-God with the most graceful manners, the most affable conversation, and the purest life. See the air of authority in this Divine Head, the majesty and the glory on this brow, the amiability and the grace on this face, the suaveness on these lips, the sweetness on this tongue, and the love in this heart. His glance alone softened hearts, His words brought delight and His actions were good deeds which charmed the heart. Is it not then with good reason that it was written of Him to be the most beautiful of the children of men?
Saint Bridget of Sweden even assures us that the beauty of Jesus was accompanied by such a grace in His gestures, in His words, in all His steps that He delighted all the hearts of those who saw Him. His disciples, therefore, could not detach themselves from their good Master and when He asked them one day if they wanted to abandon Him like the others, they all answered Him, "To whom shall we go?" in one voice filled with emotion, "You alone have the words of eternal life."
Not only the disciples, but everyone ran after Jesus; entire populations were pressing about Him and followed Him across the mountains, the deserts and along beaches, abandoning money changers, boats, shops, father, mother, and all in a word, not worrying about spending many days without eating, enchained as they were by the ineffable attributes of the lovable Saviour. Even more, the whole town of Nazareth often gathered in front of Joseph's shop to watch Jesus work and contemplate this grace, this wonderful modesty which enchanted everyone. If there was in the vicinity some poor or afflicted person, he would say immediately to himself, "I will go to see Jesus, the Son of Mary," and the sight of Jesus would suddenly chase the sorrow from his heart, the anguish from his soul and comfort his whole being. In a word, Jesus was so beautiful that the gentiles themselves, the infidels and the barbarians came from afar saying, "We want to see Jesus." Even when the animals, as it was revealed to Saint Bridget, saw Jesus pass by the way, leaving their pastures they would run with the liveliest displays of joy to the road where He was passing, wait for Him peacefully, watch Him in silence and lowering their heads with respect, show in their own manner, admiration, submission and love towards Him.
Oh supernatural beauty of my Jesus, which made an impression even on the animals themselves! Oh ungrateful men, where is your heart? Is it possible that you are not moved at the sight of such lovable beauty? The cause of your insensitiveness is obvious: If you do not love Jesus, it is because you do not know Him. My brother, what is it that has the greatest power over your heart? Beauty, is it not true? Why do you not turn then your love towards this beauty of Jesus so pure and so holy? If only you knew, my brother, how beautiful He is, my Jesus ----- "Love Me, My daughter," He said one day to a virtuous virgin to whom He appeared, "Love Me, My daughter, because I am beautiful, generous and noble of heart."
Yes, my lovable Jesus, You are certainly beautiful and You have by Your beauty alone softened the most obstinate hearts from evil ways. Bernard Colnago found himself once in a cottage with five brigands and a wicked woman. What did he do to convert them? Did he open Hell before their eyes? No, but assuming a religious countenance, he said to them in a serious and modest tone, "Jesus is beautiful, Jesus is beautiful." These words were the arrows which pierced those hearts of stone and all were converted.
I return to you, my poor sinner, you who in an instant become stunned by a ray of earthly beauty, of a vile and degraded beauty, tell me then how you have the heart hard enough to resist the ineffable beauty of Jesus! I am asking for your heart, my beloved friends, I desire that your heart be captivated by the beauty of my Jesus, a beauty so sweet that it will make you happy in this life and happy through all eternity; a beauty so marvelous that it will be the delight even of Paradise and if there were not anything else to contemplate in Heaven but the beauty so pure, so holy, and so ravishing of Jesus, this would be even then an abode of ineffable delight.
The image of the Sacred Heart is by
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