Living out of our true image and likeness
“Go out to others and share the good news that God, our Father,
walks at our side. He frees us from anonymity, from a life of
emptiness and selfishness, and brings us to the school
of encounter. He removes us from the fray of competition
and self-absorption, and he opens before us the path of peace.
That peace which is born of accepting others, that peace
which fills our hearts whenever we look upon those in need
as our brothers and sisters.”--Pope Francis
One day a woman asked me why she was always so happy when she helped someone, anyone, even in small matters. So we talked about being made in the image and likeness of God. If God is truly love that means that he is an infinite fountain of giving. When we minister to others out of love we become part of that loving stream, we are living out of our deepest selves; hence we become happier. That is true even when our reaching out to others encountering them in their everyday live can be frustrating and very arduous. We are often happy and don’t know it, until what we take for granted is lost.
Self-seeking if it is extreme leads to grasping and isolation from others. The fruit of this is manipulation, the reducing of others and all of reality into a project of some sort for ones benefit; which in fact never works for long. It is a foretaste of hell, a place of complete separation from others and God that is embraced out of freedom.
To love and help others is like a flower opening up to the Sun, for it is grace that invites us to be aware of the needs of those around us and to help as much as we are able. If we cannot help in a material way, we can help by listening and supporting anyway we can.
Many downplay prayer. Yet in prayer we truly open ourselves to grace and draw close in union with God. In prayer we embrace all as we are slowly healed from self-absorption that leads to separation from others. We learn over time that our being the center is nothing but a powerful illusion. There is only one center. That center is the true north for all men and woman which is the will of God… wherein we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves and to love God with our whole being. In that we find our true selves, which is much greater than the self-absorbed, fearful and anxious driven soul seeking to be its own axis and god.—Br.MD