Friday, April 10, 2009

Was Mary Beautiful?

I'm watching The Gospel of John on Netflix right now, and I was struck with how plain the woman was who played Mary. This is against the usual custom of having some ethereal beauty play her. In art, she is almost always painted the same way. But was she in fact beautiful? Perhaps not.

I had a thought, which may not be a good one. Nevertheless, if I censured my thoughts, I wouldn't be following the laws of the blogosphere. So, here goes: perhaps we make her beautiful because we don't really believe the Incarnation. We don't really believe that God, the infinite God, has condescended to the emptying of becoming man. All Mariology is Christology, and so by always making her have superhuman beauty, we testify that we believe Jesus was also a superhuman, not a real man at all. The Mother of God, the ever-virgin all-pure Theotokos, could have had a big nose like the actress, without any impairment, because humans sometimes have big noses. Since God has become man, everything human is now divine, even big noses.


Throwback said...

Potuit, decuit; ergo fecit?

Or perhaps:

Thou art beautiful and comely, O Daughter of Zion, terrible as an army set in array.

Karl said...

Yes, but God does not judge as man judges.

He must like big noses. After all, there are so many of them!

Throwback said...

If Christ didn't assume the quality of a big nose, can we believe that big noses are deified?

Turgonian said...

The good and the beautiful are convertible.
Mary is the creature that most of all participated in God's goodness.
Ergo, Mary is the creature that most of all participated in God's beauty.

Of course, that does not necessarily imply that she looked attractive to men who look no further than their noses (ahem). But there is a sound instinct in making 'Mary' beautiful, and it is not a subconscious disbelief in the Incarnation.