Sunday, June 26, 2016

How God Loves us in Our Imperfections: 'Simplicity: The Art of Living' by Richard Rohr

“Our problem consists in the fact that we're so conscious of not being good. And you need a great deal of trust to believe God’s pronouncement that everything God created is very good. We seem to believe that only perfect things are lovable -- that’s our problem. Yet the Gospel’s say very clearly that God loves imperfect things. But it is only the imperfect and broken who can believe that. Thus it happens that God throws a party - and the “good” people don’t come. That’s why God says that the crippled, the lame, and the blind are to be invited -- and they would be ready.” (58) ~ Simplicity: The Art of Living by Richard Rohr

Being an "imperfect" person, and especially an imperfect Catholic, Fr. Rohr's words strike a familiar chord with me. There was a time in my faith formation, when I listened to the traditionalist mindset in the Church, that I thought God would withhold grace from me because of my imperfections, for I indirectly thought "only perfect things are lovable" and that through piety I could become lovable enough. This is a misreading of the Gospel and a false interpretation of God's amazing love, a misreading that many traditionalist voices nurture in the searching faithful. God loves us in the ugliness of our imperfections so much that he became human and died a torturous death for each one of us, even me. It took God permitting me to feel the pain of intrapersonal rejection. In reconciliation, for instance, priests have reminded me to forgive and love myself, to avoid scrupulosity, and to stop beating myself up. These messages, through prayer and Scripture, finally make sense and shine a light on my once inaccurate view of God’s redemption and love.

Have you ever had a similar experience? Where in your walk of faith have you had a revelation that brought you closer to Jesus, where you cleared a hurdle that you did not even know existed?