Be Beautiful

Facts of Life

In a recent post at, Emily Stimpson wrote about "What Makes a Body Beautiful."

"Do you want to be beautiful?" she asked.

"Then love. Pray. Obey God. Get to know him so you can be like him.

"Talk less of yourself and listen more to others. Open your home to friends and strangers. Pay more attention to them and less to the dishes piled up in your sink. Turn off the TV and visit the elderly neighbor across the street. Put down the iPhone and look the person you’re with in the eye. Write checks for widows and orphans. Look away from the half-naked woman walking down the street. Don’t flirt with the married co-worker in the office next door. Hold the complaining and tell God, ‘Thy will be done.’ Forgive. Be frugal. Be merciful. Don’t gossip. Don’t shirk your responsibilities, and don’t make everything about yourself.

"Also, laugh. Smile. Throw your arms around the people you love. Cook your kids’ favorite meal for dinner. Knit a scarf for a friend. Finish the project you’ve long promised your wife you’d finish. Give flowers for no reason.

"While you’re at it, care for your body, but don’t obsess about your body. Spend less time looking in the mirror and more time looking at the cross. Be patient with yourself as you’re patient with others.

"Basically, pursue virtue, avoid vice, love truly, and use the body God gave you to express that love. Use it to give your love away every day in a thousand little ways. Be the gift of love that you are.

"You may not see how beautiful that makes you. It may take a while to like what’s staring back at you in the mirror. Cultural voices are hard to silence, and old habits of seeing and judging die hard.

"But others will see it. They will see you. And through you, they will see God. Which is exactly how God designed it to be."

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.