Friday, November 1, 2013

you shall be true to yourself!

Saint Teresa, Avila, Spain

mural to modern saints like Bishop Romero of El Salvador,
Hospital de Órbigo, Spain
“The stars in heaven are a little bit closer to us tonight on this feast of All Saints!”
~Fr. Robert Wood, pastor
St Mark the Evangelist, Norman

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are… Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives… I think of it as the audacity of authenticity.”
~Brené Brown,

“Understood correctly, our love for ourselves, our ‘yes’ to our self, may be regarded as the ‘categorical imperative’ of the Christian faith: You shall lovingly accept the humanity entrusted to you! You shall be obedient to your destiny! You shall not continually try to escape it! You shall be true to yourself! You shall embrace yourself! 
Our self-acceptance is the basis of the Christian creed. Assent to God starts in our sincere assent to ourselves, just as sinful flight from God starts in our flight from ourselves. In accepting the chalice of our existence, we show our obedience to the will of the Creator in heaven; in rejecting it, we reject God… knowing how difficult it is for us to bear with ourselves and how quickly we feel betrayed by ourselves, knowing how difficult it is for us not to hate ourselves, we can then understand why God had to prescribe ‘self-love’ as a virtue and one of the great commandments… 
We must learn to accept ourselves in the painful experiment of living.”
~Johannes Baptist Metz,

banners to women saints, Cain, France

I am grateful for my Pastor’s excitement about this great feast of All Saints. And thanks to him, I've caught a new peek into this feast’s abundant gifts.

In our Church’s saints—both the ones officially proclaimed and the ones that have personally touched our hearts, we have companions that will walk with and guide us on this pilgrimage of living.

I have always loved reading saints’ stories, even as a young girl growing up in Puerto Rico, when saints from other continents seemed exotic and provoking.

But it’s more than that. What I’m hearing in a new way today is that what makes these women and men saintly and holy is not only their unique and intimate connectedness to the Divine, but also their willingness and courage to embrace their complete humanity.

Like Mother Teresa and John Paul II, our saints had the audacity to live authentic lives, to use today’s lingo. True to themselves, they completely embraced their humanity and the chalice of their own unique lives. And in so doing, they lived fully and whole-heartedly the person God created them to be.

May we have the courage to do the same!  

All holy men and women, pray for us!

Joan of Arc, Rheims, France