When two people fall in love with one another, what actually happens? They see in each other a certain beauty, a certain grace that they desire. Often, those around them cannot see it to any substantial degree. It is a mystery to parents, for instance, what their daughter sees in a man who does not have a job and who does not seem attractive to them in any way. But she sees something that is beautiful and good in the other, or at least potentially so. She has given her trust and love to her beloved. He may not even see in himself what the lover sees in him. But if he trusts her, he may begin to see his own value and promise the way she does.
Of course, she can be wrong and be seeing in him what she wants to see, but sometimes that is enough for the beloved to will changes in his life that may transform him into the being that the lover sees in him.
When one brings this understanding to our relationship with the All Beautiful One, God, one finds a problem. Sin, over the course of our lives, has disfigured our initial beauty as of a created being come from the hand of God. We find in God the three transcendentals: Goodness, Truth and Beauty. Since we have been created by God, we too must share in those three transcendentals. But we have sinned. Therefore, we have been changed into beings that manifest evil, lies and ugliness. If we do not see this or think we are exempt from the results of Original Sin, we live in a state of delusion.
But we know by faith that God loves us as we are and calls us through the daily baptismal regeneration of faith into a deep and loving relationship. But what does God see in us? Why is the All Good reaching out to the one who has done evil? What does the All Truthful want from me who have lived a life of lies? Why does Beauty Himself want to be united with one who has made himself so hideous?
Like an errant and mischievous child that is still sought after by a loving parent, so God sees through the mess we have made of ourselves, and perceives the pure design of His original intentions that blessed us at our creation from His hand.
Until we see things from this perspective we will never understand what we mean by the mercy of God. We live in a world that puts me, the self, at the center. Everything revolves around that me, even God and the supernatural dimensions of our lives. To sense one’s unworthiness is the beginning of the Spiritual Adventure. We know we can’t do it by ourselves. We know that all depends on God. We know that without God we are literally nothing. Thus, we approach God in humility, which is the chief virtue and the foundation upon which our growth will be based. The one who is lost in the me has no idea of this and is so lost that he or she has no clue where they are and what they are called to. They don’t even know what awaits them without God. They are blind to reality.
It has nothing to do with education. Many in the me mentality are highly educated and very accomplished, but they lack the one thing necessary: a humble need for God.
God on His part sees our internal beauty. The human soul is one of the most beautiful things that God created. We have marred it with our sins, but God sees us in all our pristine loveliness. He loves us so much that He chose to become one of us, a human being. He also chose to redeem us from the sorry shape we got ourselves into! He took on our guilt and He gave us the sacramental graces we need to grow holy again. If we want to see what happens when the human person takes on the path of holiness, we need to look at the greatness of the saints: the innocence of St. Therese, the wisdom of St. Ignatius, the courage of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Men and women, girls and boys, rich and poor, white, black, yellow and brown, a great chorus of the transformed in Christ. And it could be you and it could be me also.
Glorify the Lord in all His Works!
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet.” – Psalm 8:3-6