I have a friend who never talks about himself-he only talks about God. I feel like he has lost his ego. Even in heaven we have our own identity.
I **do think that we lose our identity in Christ. ** St. Francis of Assisi (I believe, may I be corrected if I am wrong :shrug: :shrug: ) and his brothers were not permitted to have any opinions. Yet, I think that God is infinite. So when we lose ourselves in Christ, we necessarily - due to our own finiteness - partake of more of one aspect of Christ than another aspect of Christ. Thus, we are different from others who have lost themselves in Christ. Kind of like if someone loses themselves in God’s forgiveness, mercy, love and another person loses themselves in God’s love and peace. Both are fully lost in Christ but may look different depending on their different concentrations. It is the same Christ that is the King of Justice and the King of Mercy.
Another example, sometimes Mary is the Blessed Mother. Other times, “Our Lady of the Rosary,” “Our Lady of Sorrows,” “Mother of the Word.” She is fully each of these titles but they all have unique identities because they represent a different representation of her persona.
Yes, each person is a unique, loved creation of God. The particular nature and gifts each has is intended to bless and enrich others, (Peter 1, 4: 10-12) and to be our special song of praise and delight to God.
‘Love others…as yourself’
Jesus when You command us to love others as ourselves, You require something more challenging than simply to “love others.” The embedded touchstone in that command is “love your self.”
Many people lack proper self-esteem, making it difficult for them to genuinely value others. However, Scripture exhorts, “value yourself at your proper worth. Who can justify a man who runs himself down, or respect a man who despises himself.” [Ecclesiasticus 10:28-29]
If we do fail to love ourselves correctly, we cannot accept God’s love. Let us never imagine ourselves hidden from Your mercy: ‘“Can anyone hide in a dark corner without my seeing him?’ asks the Lord.” [Jeremiah 23-24]
The concept of rightly loving oneself in order to love others as God’s precious children may be confused with the selfishness that ruins unselfish self-love. It requires us to reject negative self-talk and responses. “If a man is mean to himself, to whom will he be good?” [Ecclesiasticus 14:3].
Growth in Christian self-love is facilitated by “filling your mind with everything that is true, everything that is noble, and everything that is pure and good” [Philippians 4:8] and serving “in works of love.” It is allowing the Spirit to direct your life and then “you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence. What the Spirit brings is…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control.” [Galatians 5:13, 16, 26, 22-23]
Jesus, help us to fittingly love ourselves. You do not wish us to disparage ourselves but to see ourselves as loved, forgiven children of God. A poor self-image may compare to our perception of ‘clouds’. To observers, clouds appear to be impressive, substantial and tangible. However, within themselves the clouds seem damp, insubstantial and misty.
Jesus, let us not belittle ourselves in comparison to others because of our personal uncertainties and inadequacies. Let us live in sincere acceptance of self, that unique gift of Your creative love. help us to see ourselves as loved children of God. Jesus, help me to know that You really love me. Help me to love myself so that I can love You and others love others truly.
Confidence in God’s merciful love
God, You command that I forgive and rightly cherish myself. Like many people in human history, I often find it difficult to sincerely and consistently love the ‘self’ that I find mirrored in my consciousness. I know that You can bring me to appreciate the miracle and privilege of my existence!
How can I refuse to love what God loves! You treasure me, as You love and treasure each unique, human person that You create. Yet I need much grace to love this betrayer of my true being and purpose, myself! I betray Your loving creation of me by failing to be fully ‘the person I am created to be’.
You love each person so much that it led to the incarnation of Your divine Son, and to His redemption of humankind. Jesus is Your response to my betrayal of my destiny and me. Yet frequently I am unconvinced or indifferent before these astounding gifts of divine love for me and for every person!
Please give me grace to value each person as Your beloved and eternal gift. Inspire me with faith and gratitude for the gift of myself, for the lives of dear ones and of all people. Grant that these human gifts are shaped by Your love to become everlasting gifts to You, and through You, eternal gifts to each other person.
Through Jesus, You taught us that cheerful, loving mutual service of others leads to fulfilment of Your creative will. Therefore, give me grace to faithfully say ‘yes’ to Your loving purpose by active respect and charity to others and me.
Delight Yourself in me by forming me into the unselfish, joyful, helpful and prayerful person You dreamed me to be for You and others’ souls for time and eternity. 1999
**Dear God, You call each person to be uniquely holy. Each is an expression of Your love, created to joyfully enrich, illuminate, mirror and reflect all of Your uniquely beloved children, bathed in divine radiance. Thus, Your love and goodness and glory blazes through all humanity in multi-faceted perfection and joy.
God, do not let me cheat You, or my sisters and brothers, of the brilliance of Your unique expression of Yourself in me. Do not let the shadows of complacency, or the darkness of sin, deny others the delight of who I am created to be forever.
Therefore, in joyful, humble trust I surrender to You, so that you will make me Yours in the holiness and wholeness of Your image. I entreat that through this fulfilment You will lead many others into Yourself also. Thank You, God, for creating each of us to share forever Your glorious love!**
At the end of the passage in which Christ calls up to pick up our cross and follow him is the promise that anybody who does so discovers who he is.
In Anthony DeMello’s *Song of the Swallow *there is the story of the salt doll. This salt doll went searching for its identity. It is when it entered the ocean that it exclaimed, "now I know who I am!"
It is in losing ourselves to Christ that we discover who we truly are.
We find ourselves in losing ourselves.
wow that’s cool, I only saw your post after I wrote mine
Don’t worry about your friend or interfere with his ways, as God will lead him as He wishes. His entire focus on God leaves him in God’s hands. It roots him in God for the time of testing he will surely go through, so please be patient.
I think you are right about not pushing him. I asked him to tell me something about his daily life, and he talked about the Blessed Mother being perfect, which is wonderful-but I just want to get to know him.
That’s kind of what it is about…we are supposed to be hidden with Christ in God. It is there we will find our peace, security and rest! Dive in!
At a Jesus Day Conference in Chicago, I remember a talk in which we were warned about being “so lost in the Spirit as to lose sight of the Spirit.” Like many other things in my life, it is not something that I understood until it happened to me. It is likely that your friend has recently experienced God in a life changing way. Naturally he wants to share this experience with everybody he meets.
Think of it in terms of a person in love who only wants to talk about his or her lover. He is lost in the moment, basking in the love of God. When he is ready, he will again talk about his own life, about his struggles and triumphs. It is the Lord himself who will guide him from the mountain top into the valley.