By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
“God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.” Most of us have heard this quote from the Baltimore Catechism at one time or another, and while it answers a deep question in a way a young child can understand, I think it misses a major part of the equation. God made me because He loves me; God loved me first.
GOD LOVES ME!... I could spend the rest of my days just repeating this. This knowledge is “the one thing necessary” (Lk 10:42); It is the answer to every question of the human heart, and the goal of prayer. It is the road to holiness; it is our identity. Yes, God loves me; it is WHO He is; it is WHO I AM. It is only in the realization and contemplation of such an awesome and amazing TRUTH, that we can truly “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
I find that the older I get, the more difficult it is to let myself be loved. Being loved requires vulnerability; it requires an openness to the possibility of getting hurt, and I do not want to get hurt again. When we are hurt, we naturally raise a barrier to protect the wound. We don’t want anyone to come near it, because it hurts, and we do not want pain. So, avoiding pain becomes the goal, and we continue building walls. Those walls separate us, leave us lonely, and truly vulnerable. But instead of being vulnerable with the possibility of love, we are vulnerable to despair.
This is the place where we are prisoners, and the bars are of our own making. This is where the jailer can only keep you as long as you believe he can. He truly has no power, but he rattles the chains to scare you. He tells you is scarier outside. He tells you the others around you are the ones who will truly hurt you and you should just stay busy and be left behind. He keeps getting louder so you can not hear, hear the little whisper that will not cease. “For when peaceful stillness encompassed everything and the night in its swift course was half spent, Your all-powerful word from heaven’s royal throne leapt into the doomed land” (Wisdom 18:14-15).
“Be still and know that I am God!” (Ps 46:11). Hear God whisper: “Be still and let me be God. Stop trying to be your own god. Let me hold you; let me love you; let yourself be held. I want to heal you. Let me tear down the walls and touch you; let me say to you My Word and see how every jailer bends the knee and lets you walk away. Come with me, my child, and let yourself be loved.”
So, once you hear that whisper, that love song written just for you, will you listen? Will you believe it’s true? Or will you harden your heart? Will you let fear keep you apart? Yes, the healing of the wound will hurt, but there is something better on the other side. So, take up courage and trust, “for he who made the promise is trustworthy” (Heb 10:23). You were made for this; you were made for love. Be still, be held, be loved.
We are Ivonne Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.