The Rapidian

You ARE Lovable -- Believe It!

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Imperfect and alive,  I am worthy of love!  (Photo permission: Jennifer Steers)

Imperfect and alive, I am worthy of love! (Photo permission: Jennifer Steers)

Last month's talent for living in a community was appreciating our own unique qualities. Remember? "As different as different can be."  That leads us right into this month's talent - the gift of believing we are lovable.  Those who have a sense of self-worth are easier to live with because they are not trying to prove they are lovable; or worthy of love through overwork, excessive competitiveness, over-control, efforts to please others, excessive needs for reassurance, or any other compensatory behaviors that cause stress and strains in relationships.

Conviction of our own lovable-ness puts us at ease with ourselves and others. We are repeatedly assured of God's love for us in scriptural passages, writings of the mystics and other saintly persons. Yet, we are often not convinced.  In the process of growing up, each of us experiencs failure, disappointment, shame,and negative messages about ourselves.  In many ways we are given the message that we are not good enough.

In a recent talk given in Kalamazoo, Richard Rohr said: "God does not love us because we are good. God loves us because God is good."

In the experience of our heart we know we can love others who are not good. The behavior of the difficult two-year-old child is replicated at every age. Yet, we can love her or him. We do love others who are far from perfect.

In the experience of our intellect, too, we can see the benefit of imperfection.  Mutations often result in life-giving adapatations. In a recent explanation of the universe, Stephen Hawking explained that the imperfection of matter itself enables the dynamism of the universe to shift and change. If the smallest units of matter were all perfect, gravity would hold all in suspension and nothing would move. In this case imperfection means life, movement, change.

So celebrate your imperfection and ponder the words of God on the subject of your own innate lovable-ness.

I have loved you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary." (Benedict XVI)

 
This is the fifth in a series of eight brief reflections written by Sister Mary Navarre, OP. A long-time teacher and writer, Sister Mary is a member of the Leadership Team of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids.

submitted by: Rosemary M. Steers, Communications Specialist - Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids

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