St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

As Our Advent Journey Continues...

      We can forgive others, but can we forgive ourselves?

In the Our Father, we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”

We’ve learned to forgive others.  As we traveled through this process, we released the pent up anger and allowed God the room to work in our souls, our lives.  We surrendered to Him the power that anger has over us.  He used His love to bring peace to our souls, our hearts, and our lives.  We became reconciled with our God through the process of forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not for wimps, and we must rejoice when we, through the graces of God, forgive those who have hurt us.

Now, fast forward.  We made a terrible mistake.  We have hurt someone we did or didn’t want to hurt.  We have learned to forgive others.  Now can we forgive ourselves?  The answer to this is yes, through the graces of our loving God we can, and through the gift of self love.

Many of us were not taught to love ourselves as we grew up.  We were told how terrible we were, and we were berated until it hurt, for the mistakes we made.  Our self esteem became attached to this negativity.  Now, we try too hard to please, to succeed, to control situations to bring about the outcome we want to see.  This is not self love, nor is this allowing God into our lives and trusting that He knows what’s best for us.  God’s job is to work miracles, not ours.  Anxiety is a great blocker to God’s graces.  Worry is a great blocker to God’s graces. It’s not easy to step aside and let God be God and trust.

In Matthew 22: 37-40, Jesus spoke: And He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."

The key sentence here is:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  To truly love God and our neighbors, we must love as we love ourselves.  We cannot give what we don’t have whether it’s patience, humility, or love of self.  Contrary to popular opinion, self love is not selfish.  Self love is not controlling.  Self love is not filled with anxiety.  Self love is not demonstrated in worry.   Self love is not centered on us.  Self love is centered on God and allowing God to work in our lives with trust and confidence.  Self is love is knowing that no matter who the world treats us, or how the world makes us feel, there is a greater power at work, and that power is the love of God.  God loves us.  He made us to feel and be worthy of all love, including the love of ourselves.

God doesn’t make junk.  We are valuable children in the eyes of God.  He loves us with an unending love that cannot be surpassed by anyone in heaven or on earth.  God is madly in love with each of His children.  He knows us by name.  He knows our thoughts before we think them.  He has counted each hair on our head.  He is Love. If that which is love, loves us, can we reject the beauty which God gave us?   Can we refuse to love that creation of God which is ourselves?
of course not.

Like forgiveness learning to love ourselves is a process.  Learning to love ourselves is a gift from God. 
All journey’s begin with a single step.  That step is to pray and ask God for this gift.  You are worthy of self love.  Jesus loved Himself.  He knew He was good.  He knew He was Holy.  He knew, and He loved himself.  It’s okay for us to do the same.  The Father wants us to love ourselves as our brother Jesus loved himself.  If we love ourselves, we will be at peace, and this peace will flow from us to our world, and the world will be a better place.  So ask God for this gift of self love, then, when we slip and realize we are thinking poorly of ourselves, pray and ask God again for this amazing gift.  In time, you will realize you are good and worthy of God’s love, humanity’s love, and your own love.  Pray! Pray! Pray!

Heavenly Father, I ask you for the gift of self love. 
Jesus, my Brother, help me to love myself as You love Me.
Holy Spirit, open my mind that I might learn to love myself.

You will learn to love yourself so that you can love your neighbor as yourself.

What does self love have to do with self forgiveness?  When we learn to love ourselves as God loves us, we surrender to Him our self doubt, our insecurities, our anxieties, our attempts to control God, our self hatred.  We surrender to God all that He does not wish us to be.  As we learn to love ourselves, God is able to work in our souls healing, nurturing and caring for us through the gift of His unending love.  We are able to finally say, “Your Will be done.”  When we fall and make a mistake, we are able to trust that even though we have sinned, God will bring good out of sin.  We are able to trust that God will grant us the gift of forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  If God forgives us, then why shouldn’t we forgive ourselves?  All that matters is that we are able to love God with our entire heart, soul and body.  This is the epitome of self love.  God heals and cures us.  We can forgive others as we forgive ourselves because God is in control.  We have given all to Him.  He has given all to us.  We can rest easy in His Loving arms knowing that His Love will surround us as we surrender to Him.  God is good.  You are worthy of His goodness.

Jesus, I love You. 

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