Vocation 4: Dignity
How is God’s love being perfected in you?
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Transcript of Video:
I think it was Paul Tillich who said that God – who defined God as, “The object of our ultimate concern.” “The object of our ultimate concern is God,” that’s how he defined God. And I think we could turn that around the other way, too. I think we might say that the human being is the object of God’s ultimate concern. Saint Irenaeus, I think in the 2nd Century, said it very luminously. He said, “The glory of God is the human being fully alive.” And of course in the gospel of John we read that, “The word, who was God in the beginning, became human flesh.” Not some other kind of flesh but human flesh. And there’s a recognition there of the very high status of the human being in the whole scheme of things.
It invites us to certainly a deep regard and respect for our own being and then of course a deep respect and regard for every other human being that we meet and recognizing the capacity of each human being to incarnate the love, grace and truth of Christ. To be the means by which God’s love is made yet more perfect in the world.
– Br. Mark Brown
What came to my mind was 2 Cor 12:9. If God’s power is made perfect in my weakness, perhaps his love is, too. It certainly makes my weaknesses easier to embrace.
We are called to be the hands and feet and voice of Jesus Christ in the world, and in doing that, in loving and praying for others, in these attitudes and these actions, we are the body of Christ. God calls us and God equips us for this ministry.
I feel very blessed that I have felt God’s presence within me since childhood. I’ve been aware of Christ as my teacher since my early 20s. When I am pondering questions about who He is, He gently shows me the answer. As I grow in my love for Christ, I am becoming more and more aware of the lessons I am given in everyday situations. They are often very small circumstances that can be easy to bypass but I find myself tuning in to them and realizing God and Christ are teaching me here too. I believe I have been growing and maturing through this journey.
Everyday, God is teaching me to be accepting of all kinds of people, that I would have judged earlier as being “less than”. Now, I try to find and identify the bond and connection I have with every person because we are all children of God. My responses to those who I interact with and have closer relationships with are being increasing more love driven than “me” driven. Not so much “what about what I want” and more “what does this person need “and what should my response be; fueled by love.
seeing GOD in every human being I encounter
I suspect that God’s love is being perfected in me as I continue to struggle with the same things I have always struggled with:the legacy of an incredibly dysfunctional family, treating my body as a trash temple instead a temple of the spirit,anguish over not being worthy of love, etc……God gives opportunity after opportunity to wrestle with these things until I can find the blessing in them. I used to think they would go away or that I had worked through them all but truth told it is more like for every circle there is another circle which can be drawn around them…..I move deeper into perfect love each and every time I have the opportunity engage these same concerns…and I find above all else that God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness.
I think you just gave the answer to why there is suffering in this world. Without pain, evil, struggle whatever you want to call it, there would never be opportunity for experiencing what love is all about, and when you do experience, really experience, love, all the struggle, evil, pain, suffering simply vanishes – kind of like giving birth! However, there are always new births, and I suppose those niggling remembrances of that old pain never quite disappear, but have a way of moving in again with the anticipation!
As I read through the comments after watching these wonderful videos, I am struck by how many of us express that we are somehow not doing all that is either expected of us or that we are sort of “unworthy.” I think this is human nature but I don’t think it is the case for most humans. This question is how God’s love is being perfected in us…it is not asking us how we are becoming perfect.
God’s love is being perfected in me by my striving to be a better Christian, a better wife, sibling, aunt and friend.
Light, mercy, and love were unearned, but given anyway, maybe simply because I was one of God’s children in pain and I would have died without his help. Not everyone gets another chance. I don’t know how to live up to that, or into the legacy of it, but there must be a purpose, a way to use that history to help other people somehow.
As I learn patience compassion and the true context of love
God’s love is being perfected in me as I see my world through the lens of prayer. It is that way that I become more and more aware of God’s intimate care for me and I hope that reflects to other people in my daily intersactions/.
This confuses me. God’s love is perfect, but I certainly am not. Like the saying goes, “Please be patient – God’s not done with me yet!” I don’t know if any 1 thing is being perfected in me. I just need to recognize His love in my life.
God’s love is currently working within me as the impetus to accept people as they are, right this minute…..to allow them, in my mind and heart, to be and to grow (or not) at their own pace and in their own way.
As I grow older I can see God’s love being perfected in me. It’s a part of my spiritual journey. I can also see how I am more aware of those qualities God gave me that I did not recognize when I was younger and was focused on other things.
As others have said, this is a difficult question to answer – perhaps because the old “tapes” of Proper Christian Comportment are telling me to be modest and humble. But as I consider the question and Brother Mark’s meditation, I think that God is asking for two responses: a deep gratitude for simply living another day to enjoy and pass along that love, and a commitment to respect the dignity of others that I meet today. If God created me with such concern, then God has created others in that way as well.
It’s a continual revelation, and sometimes I feel I’ve taken a step or two backward in my experience of it, but nonetheless, it is always responding to the invitation, as Aslan says, to “come further up, come further in!” I want to run joyously after Him, just as the Pevensie children did.
I couldn’t get past the premise to focus on the question: God likes humans the best. God loves all of creation and that includes humans, ALL creations. To build the case that the All Being likes us best seems so egocentric.
“If horses had gods, they would look like horses.”
John Shelby Spong
That caught me too Casey. So I suppose when I can truly be opened to my place in this wondrous creation and recognize that without my tiny essence all creation would not be whole and likewise everything else in it’s place as well, then God’s love keeps “being perfected” as it always has been anyway.
My immediate reaction to this question was . . . “that is a very good question.” Upon further reflection I would say, “certainly very slowly.” As I reach the late stages of middle age, and a certain professional apex, I am having a chance to look back over the path of the last 20 very full and busy years, and only when I do can I see how much I have learned and grown in love. In perfecting His love in me, God has had an up hill battle for sure, but all things are possible with God, and he has blessed me richly with experience and vantage point so that I might make progress. He never gives up and I love more freely, openly and often today, than I did yesterday. May it always be so.
God is teaching me about love; love both to Him and other people. He is showing me how very much He loves me, and how I can abide in that Love. Then that Love will overflow to those around me. It will be like a stone put in a glass of water; it makes the glass overflow. Love is like the stone, and displaces me so that His Love flows over. This is how His Love is perfected in me; more and more love overflowing.
I went thru a Transformation in 2010 when I attended my first Cursillo. I had stopped attending church on a regular basis 12 years earlier for several reasons which I will not go into here. My experience at Cursillo lead me back to church. Over the next two years God lead me on a path to retirement at age 70. Since retiring, I have been lead on a search for my own self, who I am, what I am, where I am going. I have found new meaning in my life. Whether it is helping my wife prepare and serve food for the homeless, work as a team member on 3 Cursillos, provide healing prayers during Communion at least once a month, being a Greeter of visitors on Sunday, working to restore my home & property after 17 years of neglect or finding writers & books on spirituality which has lead me to more writiers and more books.to read, all these things have been a path to the Truth provided by God’s Love for me.
I am reconnecting with my joy center. When I have this joy in place, which comes to me through spiritual practices, I feel as though God’s perfection truly shines through me. So, therefore, I have a calling to perform the practices that bring that deep and faithful joy to life with what I do with my life… I have drifted from this “state of presence” in the past several years as I have been in such wonderful but intense transition during that time, and it seems as if I am coming through that time and re-entering my place of God’s gift of joy to my soul (and body and mind). Thank you so much for your message today Brother Mark.
Through all the obstacles when I muster up the courage, grace and wisdom to face them….
The question is about God’s love being perfected in me, not how perfect I am. I have no answer except to allow God to work through me and not erect barriers to thwart God’s will in my life.
What is perfection? I suppose the literal meaning is to be made through and through (per fectus), not to be flawless, in other words. So where is God coming to perfection in me to me means where is God coming fully into my being and as well, where do I perceive this, as it is all too easy not to recognize God as the ground of my being. I feel it rather than think it . I feel it as a warmth in my chest right about where my lungs are. This makes sense to me as the breath of my lungs is analogous to the breath of God breathing life into me. As a result I feel confident of God’s presence deeply in me and can be a good deal less fearful of the world and a good deal more compassionate and patient towards the people I meet in it – both myself and others.
God’s Love is perfected in me daily as I try to walk and talk more closely with Him in everything and share Him with others. His love helps me get through each day and makes each day better as I turn to His love.
Like Bob, my first reaction was “not being very well perfected in me”. Then, realising that’s a reaction not a response, I turned to this past night’s showing of God’s love for us here at the CT convent where I am on retreat. Sister Althea died in the night and we all crept into the Oratory in various stages of day and night clothes, and we prayed aloud together from the BCP. God infused the place with God’s love for Sister, an agent of love and change and dignity, now going to be in heavenly rest. RIP
Gods love is being perfected in me in many ways. He opened my heart to reconsider my Christian upbringing (actually Jesus did) by bringing me to these wonderful brothers, who just rattle my spiritual self every morning with their deeply moving words. As Michael just said, God is teaching me to be a better person everyday, always has been, but now I am paying attention more often.
It’s more like I am really beginning to see how the Love of God has been ” being perfected” in me all along. When I reflect back on soul wounds and sorrows, I can see the light that began to emerge or grow stronger. It’s sometimes a subtle thing and often catches me by surprise. Just yesterday, I was riding in rush hour traffic when another vehicle cut right in front of us. Another passenger spoke very angrily ” what is she thinking?” My response, ” she’s probably thinking about the sick child she dropped off at day care, her husband in Afghanastin, the laundry that has to be done tonight after she gets to the grocery and the wrath she will feel from her boss when she’s late for work.” I offered her a prayer. That, my friends is Gods love being perfected in me.
Thank you for that.
His love is being perfected through humility as a Chaplain when I pray and give God’s love to patients who really need it at their time of need.
I believe that God’s love is being perfected in me as I move gradually into a more contemplative life style and prayer. I pray with much fewer words now and spend more time in silence and in appreciating the presence of God in all times and in all places. With that appreciation it becomes much easier to love others…and even myself!
I remember when I first learned that I could pray without words. It was one of the most freeing experiences of my life! No longer did I need to “explain”. Silence truly can be golden, so when I think God isn’t speaking to me, I try to remember that silence can be a way of communicating in itself. How can one really explain love with words anyway? (I just had an aha moment! When I speak to another and they change the subject or don’t answer back, that silence can be precious to me as well – if I let it be.)
God’s love is perfected in me each day, as He teaches me to be a better person.
I am not sure I know how to answer this one. If I focus on the “being perfected” part, I recognize a process taking place so maybe I’m being prefected by coming to know God more fully and recognizing that God’s love is for all people. If I can learn to accept people’s flaws and failings as God accepts mine and theirs, maybe I can experience a “perfecting” rather than try to be perfect right now.
Thank you, Jim. Christina
I love this answer! I have trouble answering these questions, but this says it “perfectly.” Thank you.
My answer first of all was “not very well “. But then I thought that list of things where love shows and, on the list where things have been broken, I realised that there were far more areas where love was being effected by me in the world.
I hope my continuing to do the work God has set me his love can be shown more perfectly.