A word on beauty. Every being is beautiful to the degree that it exhibits order, proportion and harmony. Every creature emanates its own kind of order and harmony so we can say, "Beauty speaks. Beauty invites. Beauty nourishes. Beauty confronts. Beauty inspires. Beauty is transcendent. Beauty draws us to God." (John & Stasi Eldredge, Captivating, Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2005, p 116)

Mary's beauty can best be describe by the poetry in the Song of Solomon:

"I am the rose of Sharon,
The lily of the valleys."
Like a lily among the thorns,
So is my darling among the maidens."
(Sg 2:1)

Most likely Mary's external beauty was that of the average Jewish girl of her age. So her beauty was that of soul expressed through her personality. She was "Full of grace" as the angel Gabriel proclaimed when he appeared to her. Her grace and poise shined through her countenance, a girl who pondered things in her heart. Conceived free from Original Sin means that she was in harmony with God's love and in her nature there was no tendency toward pride, anger, greed, lust, envy, avarice and gluttony. On the positive side she exhibited the fruits of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal 5:22-23) Mary was aware of her inner beauty which came from God when she exclaimed, "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God may savior for he has done great things for me and holy is his name."

The King of Heaven desire to dwell in Mary. Again this can be best expressed by poetry:

"Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along!'" ...
Let me see your form,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your form is lovely.
(Sg 2:13,14)

And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Lk 1:38) At that instant she conceived a male child by the power of God's Spirit, the Son of the Most High in the flesh.

Mary Virgin and Mother will forever be the exemplar of womanhood of both the married and unmarried. Her Virginity reveals her dedication to God in whom all women must find the meaning of their lives. Her virginity also points to the nature of God the Father who has begotten from all eternity only One Son.

Mary's motherhood exults woman's nature because she brought into the world the Son of God in human flesh. She remains forever the Mother of God. So all mothers in upbringing of their children are reminded that the life they conceive is from God and for God. Motherhood is an exulted vocation, that is, to bring to fruition children, not only in their flesh but also in the spirit. Mothers nurture in the souls of their children the spirit of Jesus because they are meant to develop as children of God.

Mary now in her heavenly glory is most beautiful in soul and body as many apparitions all over the world testify; they refer to Mary as the Most Beautiful Lady.

O most Beautiful and holy Mother of God, pray for us.

8. Why "No" Women Priests?