Poverty December 27
. . . you should not seek to please by your apparel, but by a good life (Rule of Augustine, 19).
We are very much rooted in the world. Our desires go toward the flesh. Our judgments are limited by earthly horizons. We are used to the world and we prefer it. To stretch toward the realities on high rather than toward the things of earth demands an effort beyond our human capabilities. Earthly beauty attracts us. It is not that this beauty is bad. On the contrary, it is a reflection of the Creator and leads us to God. The danger is that we stop at the symbol instead of passing to the Eternal Beauty. And what is worse, we can use personal beauty to distract the people of God. That is why it is better to please by the interior beauty that comes from the Spirit than to please by our bodies and their decorations. The distraction we can create is always full of moths and rust (Mt 6:19), the seeds of eventual total disillusionment.
Feathers hide the leanness of the hen. (Fang)