Read an excerpt from "A Field Theory of Beauty" in GRACE (EVENTUALLY): THOUGHTS ON FAITH (Riverhead Hardcover, 2007) by Anne Lamott:
The most utterly unselfconscious woman I know is a nun named Gervais. She runs a Catholic school for girls down the road from me. She's close to seventy, but she has the innocence of a girl. If you consider her features, she has a pleasant face. Her hair is short and graying, and she stands tall, in a way that is willowy and flexible, an economy of self-containment and abundance at once, like bamboo. She is plugged into her school and is a do-gooder in the greater community, in touch with everything around her, but she doesn't need anything from it: the plainness and holiness of the world seem enough for her, and this knowledge makes her beautiful.
She has the beauty of modesty, which is a virtue the world doesn't have much truck with: one ordinary flower in a vase, as opposed to a bouquet.
When Jesus was asked about beauty, he pointed to nature, to the lilies of the field. Behold them, he said, and behold is a special word: it means to look upon something amazing or unexpected. Behold! It is an exhortation, not a whiny demand, like when you're talking to your child -- "Behold me when I'm talking to you, sinner!" Jesus is saying that every moment you are freely given the opportunity to see through a different pair of glasses.