What does it mean to be loved, to be made holy? And how can we honor this?
If we accept that we are made in the image and likeness of God, we must accept that we are made whole or complete. We are challenged to love and embrace ourselves just as the One who created us embraces and loves us.
This morning I heard a Franciscan priest talk about how the Prayer of St. Francis (written not by St. Francis but rather hundreds of years after Francis’s death) is counter to Francis’s theology — how he would never utter words asking God to “make” him anything because he was already made. His point invites me to look for the wholeness — the holiness — within, to seek the divine footprint in my soul and my life as part of the whole of an active creation.
I remember explaining some years ago to a group of 12 step friends — as we sought to discern, as best we could, God’s will for us — that God hadn’t called me to be Mother Teresa, of that I was certain. He had already created Mother Teresa. My job was to discover who I was, who God had created me to be, and to work to become the best “me” I could. Many meanderings and missteps later, I still maintain that this is my job.
In my chaplaincy work, in the hospital and on the street, I am called to face and be present with a fair amount of horror and ugliness. I have come to find that the only way to do this work with any integrity is to learn to face and be present with the horror and ugliness within myself. To learn to embrace those parts of myself I find abhorrent, and, in the face of failing and pain, to love the wretchedness, to discover God loving me in the darkest depth and loneliness.