Love Your Soul
Have you ever felt like you were playing with fire? That its smoggy, ashy fumes are choking you but you still don’t draw yourself away, even when your hand is being burnt.
Its a picture of captivity. Why don’t I guard my soul as vehemently as I guard my body? Perhaps its because I just don’t know how valuable my soul is.
When Scriptures speak of Jonathan’s love for David the prophet, it says, “the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Samuel 18:1).
So what does it really mean to love your own soul?
“Know O beautiful soul that you are the image of God, know that you are the glory of God, know then, O man, your greatness and be vigilant.” -St Ambrose of Milan
Sometimes we are blinded from this very greatness that St. Ambrose speaks of. We feel so human, in every broken kind of way. Our memory fades from the calling to which we received. We have unlearnt that we are made for greatness, by Greatness. Our minds haven’t quite descended into the depths of our hearts to know these truths.
“The more we get what we now call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become.” -C.S Lewis
If only we knew of the way God looks at you and me. It’s in the same way He looked at a shepherd boy—David—and saw in him a king. Each of us is in the process of becoming. Becoming beauty out of the ashes. Living in the dirt of our own sin, but destined to be butterflies. Perhaps living the resurrection just means being yourself, in the fullest way. Dark but lovely. No matter how dark we are, “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). Not even an inch of darkness can out shadow the shine of your lovely.
“Like Michelangelo who looked at a rough, shapeless stone one day and saw a statue of David in it, Jesus was constantly looking at people in terms of what they can become. We may be defeated, degraded, soiled, enslaved by our passions, yet through Christ we can be redeemed.” -Anthony Coniaris
It’s in this knowing that we learn to guard our souls zealously. We learn to build the walls of Jerusalem because we know that deep inside there is treasure.
So, brush off the dirt and be ready to receive the promise of the Father.
“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36
The promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, will bring to your remembrance all things. Remembrance of who you really are. We were made for worship, and every moment in our lives we are bowing down to something, so if in those moments we don’t see God, we are worshipping an idol. So allow Him to bring us prostrate before the throne of grace – let Him point us back home, back to where we belong.
“He is the source of holiness an intellectual light for every rational power’s discovery of truth, supplying clarity, so to say through himself. He is inaccessible in nature but approachable in goodness. He fills all things with power but only those who are worthy participate in him. He is not participated in all at once but shares his energy in ‘proportion to faith”. He is simple in substance but manifold in powers. He is present as a whole to each and wholly present everywhere. He is proportioned out impassibly and participated in as a whole. He is like a sunbeam whose grace is present to one who enjoys him as if he was present to such a one alone.” -On the Holy Spirit , St Basil the Great.
(Picture courtesy of Chartchai Yodsin)
- June 17, 2016
- forgiveness, grace, growth, Holy Spirit, hope, personality, repentance, spiritual warfare
MaryJune 30, 2016
MichaelSeptember 23, 2016
Monica, this is beautiful! Such an encouraging message. Wow, I love it! This part of St. Basil's quote really stood out to me; 'He is not participated in all at once but shares his energy in ‘proportion to faith”'. May we have enough faith to experience as much of His energy as possible, and begin to truly love our souls!
ReneeJanuary 17, 2018
Ah the Lord does have His ways doesn't He?
Today is Jan. 17, months after you wrote this (Love Your Soul). I'm teaching II Tim. and writing about our calling.....Ro. 8:30 "And those He predestined, He also called, and those He called, He also justified, and those He justified, He also glorified." My comment is how we tend to agree with the scripture when we're described as predestined, called and justified but we balk at glorified. It sounds vaguely blasphemous. But we DO see thru a glass darkly....we do not see ourselves as He does. He calls us a rose and we protest, 'no, no, I'm a weed...LOOK!' I was looking for the quotation in The Screwtape Letters when Screwtape is explaining to the apprentice demon that we (humans on earth) don't SEE the ineffable light of (Jesus) the Enemy like they do."
Likewise, we don't see ourselves as He has promised we will be and even as the beloved children that we are now.
This past Christmas, it was very early, the GH was still sleeping, it was dark outside with Christmas tree lights on inside.....I was talking with the Lord and felt Him ask me...."When are you going to begin to enjoy yourself?" And I KNEW He did not mean my friends or my circumstances or any of my life.....He meant exactly what you are writing about here. Yes, it felt a little disconcerting but only because I'm at the beginning of the concept.
Thank you very much for this set of thoughts!
MonicaJanuary 17, 2018
thank you so much for your comment Renee. We are all in the struggle together, it is hard for me too! I am learning that it is so fundamental because we are called to love others just as we love ourselves. Sometimes when we are critical or inpatient with certain faults of others, it is because we are afraid that those very things lie within us. Let us pray we can begin to ACT in love and not just talk about it.