To be known is not simply understanding preferences, social inclinations, goals and desires…to be truly known requires an exposition of the heart… It requires a turning inward into the deepest recesses of our heart…an opening of oneself vulnerably, first and foremost, to a God who fashioned us entirely out of love. As much as we claim to know of the infinite love of the Father and as much as we encounter it in scripture and spiritual works, being open to the grace of believing it enough to freely be known and refashioned by Him continually, is an entirely new step of faith. And it is an invitation to the Holy Spirit’s work in us, by allowing him to speak to us, often through others.
To live in the Father’s love brings with it a courage to be unashamed of our weaknesses and failings. To be secure in the unconditional acceptance of a God who made us in his own image and likeness. To be free of the chains of our own self-condemnation and open the door to the grace of self-awareness. A gift that allows us to unveil and accept our failings and weaknesses. But not simply accept them and make a home for them but accept them as a challenge to grow through them.
“It is impossible for us to correct our faults if we are not willing to acknowledge them. It requires great courage to tear down these ingenious but inconsistent constructions of self-love, to expose our failings and look them squarely in the face, just as they are…”(DI, 347)
It’s often Pride.
In the end, it comes down to pride and a forgotten dignity that was given to us long before we could ever say “I”. A worth that draws us closer to the One who truly knows us. The God who sees every fault, failing, weakness, and imperfection and says yes, “it is good”.
Almost by default we put up a wall when encountering someone for the first time. And rightly so, we understand that no human being can equate to such a perfect love as that of the Father. And so we guard our heart. But to those we hold dear, our walls are lifted, our guard comes down, our heart and mind are exposed and we freely become known. This is often where we encounter our imperfections, our failings, our weakness, our struggles and we see them for what they are. These are often the people who challenge us to grow, these are often the people in our life who the Holy Spirit chooses to speaks through…..The gifts that accompany such realizations are enumerable. But the pride with which it is met can sometimes feel inexhaustible.
“As long as humility is shunned, pride will rear its ugly head, and the foundation of faith cannot be laid.”‘” (Im of Mary, 25)
Can we humbly embrace the truth as it is being revealed? If we are confident in the Fathers love for us and secure in the dignity that he bestowed on us, we can accept any failing or weakness as an opportunity to grow into a fuller version of who He fashioned us to become. And we can come to love and appreciate those in our life who, out of love for us, afford us these life-giving opportunities. And even those who afford us these opportunities out of disdain…..even they can be loved and appreciated with a love that surpasses all limitations of human affection. Because the more we receive the beautiful truth of who we are and the truth of our ongoing flight toward perfection in Christ, the more we become free to fully live our call to love.
The egotistical tug of war, we sometimes face, between humility and pride is not meant to feel like a senseless battle…..it is a reflection of a hearts desire to say yes to the recurring invitation of growth, growth from our broken humanity but also growth in our dignity as sons and daughters of the Father.