“I’m proud of you for the times you came in second, or third, or fourth, but what you did was the best you had ever done.” (Mister Rogers)
This is for all of you who struggle with a positive image of yourselves, finding it hard to believe that God could love you.
When you have an inferiority complex–and who of us hasn’t–you say things like, “I just don’t believe that what God made is good. Look at me. I’m a louse.” Don’t dare to challenge God like this. Everything he made is good, including yourself. Don’t listen to that serpent who is giving you apples that look red on the outside and are full of inferiority complexes on the inside. Don’t eat that apple, or else you are going to go down into a pit prepared by Satan for you for your whole life.
How can you have a wrong image of something or someone that God touched? God touched you and he created you. You passed through his mind and you were begotten. Anyone of us that passes through God’s mind, anyone of us that God touched, cannot be this horrible person we think we are. No! Each one of us is beautiful–we’re beautiful because he touched us.
Sometimes this is very difficult for us to accept. We look at ourselves and say, “He made us in his image, equal to himself in a manner of speaking, heir to his Son? This just can’t be. He hasn’t looked into my heart. he doesn’t know what I’m made of!” We say those silly things because our evaluation of ourselves is very poor. We haven’t looked at ourselves with the merciful, tender, compassionate eyes of God. So we walk in despair half the time. As a result, the ability to realize that God is both in our midst and in us–a realization that is the fruit of faith–fades and disappears.
This is the main reason, it seems to me, why the Father sent his Son to us, why the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us as one of us. The Father, having given us the fantastic gift of faith, wanted to help us accept this awesome gift. He sent his Son Jesus Christ so that we, unbelieving, might believe. We are like children; we need to touch.
Every human being is a mystery. The mystery of man enters into the mystery of God, and bursting forth with great joy, comes faith and understanding. When faith is there, all is clear, and a love relation with God enters into your heart. When you have faith, it is such a simple thing to accept his love, even if you do not understand why he loves you. (Catherine de Hueck Doherty)
Praying for you that you have faith in His love for you.
I have been reading this every time I’m in adoration these days. I find it quite encouraging, and I hope you do, too.
“During prayer while standing before the Lord, show Him not only your empty hands but also your dirty hands filled with your attachments . . . and pray that He will have mercy on you.” (Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer)
Feeling in a fog? You’re not the only one.
Originally posted on Barnstorming:
The weather and my mood have little connection.
I have my foggy and my fine days within me;
my prosperity or misfortune has little to do with the matter.
- Blaise Pascal
There has been freezing fog the last several mornings when I’ve gone out to do barn chores. This is fog that literally sticks to the world, dripping in tiny icicles from everything, swallowing up all visible landscape, hushing bird song, erasing all color, homogenizing everything.
It also sucks up my horses as I send them out to the field from the barn. They lead slowly out to the gate, sniffing the wet cold air, hesitant to be turned out into the grey sea surrounding them. What is there to eat out here in this murk? Each one, when turned loose, wanders into the soup, disappearing, as if never to be seen again. One by one they move boldly…
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As one who must deal regularly with fear, I found this piece by Father Bede Jarrett to be so helpful, and I hope you do, too.
Fear is a weakness and a strength, a sin and a virtue. For most, it is probably an evil, since human nature shrinks from present pain and is the more vividly afraid of what more immediately threatens. For that reason, it would appear that man is more likely to be too much, than too little, afraid in life. No doubt there are many who need to be more circumspect, more cautious; but these adventurous spirits are fewer in comparison than those who find in the life of the soul too much matter for depression and discouragement.
Naturally the real determinant a to whether fear is legitimate is to be sought in ascertaining the object of fear: Obviously the whole question is: “What exactly is it of which I am afraid?” . . .
What signs can I look for to discriminate between the right and wrong fear? This surely is the infallible test: the fear that is really and truly from God should take me nearer and nearer to his feet; a fear that keeps me from his presence and holds me at arm’s length from him can never be his gift . . .
So, then, the true fear of God should hold me to his love and his reverence. It must prevent me from turning away from the pathway of his commandments, nor should it further disturb the peace and serenity of my soul, nor torture my conscience nor bruise the tenderness of love or lead the enemies of God to speak of him reproachfully. I may know what is a false fear of God, for it will lead me from him.
Just needed to go back to Amy Carmichael as we begin this year.
Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:
Ps 103.14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
Job 23.10 He knows the way that I take: when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
“Perhaps those words, He knows, are meant for you today because God has allowed you some special trial of faith. The love of God is very brave. He does not hold trial off lest we should be overwhelmed. He lets it come and then gloriously strengthens us to meet it. And at the end, I shall come forth as gold.” (Amy Carmichael, Whispers of His Power)