We continue Fr. Michael Schleupner’s series on spiritual wellness today with gratitude for his willingness to share with our blog audience! We hope that this reflection reinforces the knowledge that YOU are a child of God and provides inspiration for spiritual wellness today.
Spiritual Wellness – 2
See Yourself As Beloved
Last week I began this series on Spiritual Wellness with the importance of staying centered on Christ. That, I believe, must come first – there is no other place to start! Today’s column turns to what I think must come next – our belovedness.
The Scripture tells us clearly and simply that “God is love” (I John 4:8). So, we are invited to trust that God actually is love and thus loves us. Then, at Jesus’ baptism, the voice from the heavens (the Father) says: “This is my beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17). We can and, I believe, we are intended to hear these words as also addressed to us: “You are my beloved daughter” – “You are my beloved son.” Why is it so important for us to remember or to know for the first time our belovedness? Several reasons occur to me.
This at least lessens, maybe removes our fear of God. It keeps us from feeling unworthy, unnecessarily guilty, even ashamed. It helps us to deal with any self-rejection or self-diminishment.
More positively, the awareness that we are beloved gives us a foundation for self-worth. It gives us the confidence to become and to flourish as the kind of person God has created us to be. It moves us to be loving and to love others as God loves us and them. I would go so far as to say that our seeing ourselves as beloved is foundational to a healthy and holy life and to an alive and positive relationship with Jesus Christ.
One of our Catholic authors puts it this way:
“Our many conversations led me to the inner conviction that the words ‘You are my Beloved’ revealed the most intimate truth about all human beings… The change of which I speak is the change from living life as a painful test to prove that you deserve to be loved, to living it as an unceasing ‘Yes’ to the truth of that Belovedness. Put simply, life is a God-given opportunity to become who we are, to affirm our own true spiritual nature, claim our truth, appropriate and integrate the reality of our being, but, most of all, to say ‘Yes’ to the One who calls us the Beloved.”
~ Father Michael Schleupner
Quotation above from Life of the Beloved by Father Henri J. M. Nouwen.
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