Friday, August 10, 2012

We Are Seen By God With A Gazing Love

Brennan Manning

"Preoccupation with our past sins, present weaknesses, and character defects gets our emotions churning in self-destructive ways, closes us within the mighty citadel of self, and preempts the presence of a compassionate God. From personal experience I can testify that the language of low self-esteem is harsh and demanding; it abuses, accuses, criticizes, rejects, finds fault, blames, condemns, reproaches, and scolds in a monologue of impatience and chastisement.
Rather than being surprised that we have done anything good - as certainly we have - we are shocked and horrified that we have failed. We would never judge any of God's other children with the savage condemnation with which we crush ourselves. Indeed, self-hatred becomes bigger than life itself, growing until it is seen as the beginning and the end. The image of the childhood story about Chicken Little comes to mind. In our self-hatred, we feel that the sky is falling.
Understandably, then, we hide our true selves from God in prayer. We simply do not trust that he can handle all that goes on in our minds and hearts. Can he accept our hateful thoughts, our cruel fantasies, and our bizarre dreams, we wonder. Can he cope with our primitive images, our inflated illusions, and our exotic mental castles? We conclude that he cannot and thus withhold from Jesus what is most in need of his healing touch.
In order to grow in trust, we must allow God to see us and love us precisely as we are. The best way to do that is through prayer. As we pray, the unrestricted love of God gradually transforms us. We open ourselves to receive our own truth in the light of God's truth. The Spirit opens our eyes to see what really is, to pierce through illusions so that we can discover we are seen by God with a gaze of love."
~ Brennan Manning, "Ruthless Trust"