Overlapping Galaxies – Hubble Space Telescope Picture
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. Luke 9:24
A couple of weeks ago I was having a pity party. A woe is me kind of day. I was having some anxiety about attending an event and about what people may think of me. The event was fine. In fact it was great. But as I left the event, I was still feeling sorry for myself.
I ended up going into our Cathedral downtown. It was dark inside except for the sanctuary lamp. I stood in the center of the massive Cathedral and poured out my lamentation to God. I imagine God must have listened to me and thought I sounded very much like the teacher on Charlie Brown. Wah wah wah wah wah. Thinking about it now I feel a bit ashamed. This is not to say that we shouldn’t bring our sufferings to God, in fact He is the very first place we should bring them, but it is to say we need to take a look at what is selfish inside of us and make an effort, with God’s help, to change it.
As I stood there, I very clearly heard God say, “It’s not about YOU.” It was a rebuke. Then he continued, “BE SECURE IN MY LOVE FOR YOU, stop thinking only of yourself, and go out and love other people.”
I realized that my way of thinking is something that is plaguing all of us. It’s getting so stuck in ourselves and our selfishness that we are not able to even love or be kind to our fellow man. I thought about how I didn’t really smile or say hello to anyone because of how I was feeling sorry for myself. I missed out on fellowship and friendship because of my fear. Now, I realize in my humanity that this is somewhat normal, but God isn’t asking me to stay normal. God’s love is extraordinary, and if we are secure in it, it can permeate our lives and spread joy outward to others.
I said to the Lord, “you’re right, it’s not about me — it’s about you!” I decided to leave and head to the Aquinas Adoration Chapel, where my prayer could become about Him. God provided me consolation while I was there. As I sat staring at the Monstrance, the Lord showed me in my prayer how big the universe is. I honestly felt like I was scrolling through pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope. He showed me I am like an ant, or a grain of sand, and how big He is and how He created the vast universe. It was a paradoxical feeling because on the one hand I felt so completely loved. And on the other hand I felt so immensely small. I realized how I lament, sometimes over big things, but often it is over stupid petty things, and how in the grand scheme of life they are just a drop in the bucket to God. He wants me to be stripped of my ego and selfishness and to bring His love to the world. He let me know that I am the most loved grain of sand, as are each and every one of you out there. He is intimately involved in your life. And when you let Him in like that, you can face anything. And I really do mean anything because He is where true freedom lies.
In my Peaceful Place in my home I have both a Divine Mercy Image, and a Sacred Heart Image. The Divine Mercy Image says, “Jesus I trust in you” and the Sacred Heart Image says, “Behold this heart that has so loved men.” As I was staring at them one day in prayer I felt like the images combined. What came out of that was I felt the Lord say to me, “Jesus, I trust that you love me. ” We don’t seem to know this, and because of that we look inward at ourselves and it makes us miss the joy of the world. So for tonight I want to leave you with this, BE SECURE IN HIS LOVE FOR YOU and repeat to yourself JESUS I TRUST THAT YOU LOVE ME. Then take the time to go out and spread his love to other people.
I learned a similar lesson today, Susan. May I be reminded as often as I need to be that life is not all about me; that I need to go out and tuck joy into weary hearts.
same here! I constantly have to battle my introversion and my social anxiety because I feel sorry for myself or am afraid of others. If we were secure in His love, we would go outside of ourselves. Thank you so much for the insight! See? God is working in you to encourage us.
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