These were the words of the Responsorial Psalm at Holy Mass on Monday. I was forced to say them over and over.
"The LORD takes delight in His people." (Haha, yeah right!)
"Sing to the ...."
"The LORD takes delight in His people." (Sure He does, even screw ups like me?)
"Let them praise His..."
"The LORD takes delight in His people." (Ugh. I wish we could stop saying that, I am nothing to take delight in! Maybe I'm not one of His?)
"Let the faithful...."
The LORD takes delight in His people." (Okay, sure. We'll go with that. At least I don't have to say it again.)
So often I find myself focusing on the ways I fail to
Let me start by saying, it is good to be humble. It is good to be able to address our failures and acknowledge our flaws. Without doing that, we would never be able to improve ourselves. But, in our self-examination, we need to be realistic. We need to have some compassion for ourselves. We need to see ourselves as God sees us. God, as our Loving Father, can see us and does see our imperfections. Our failures still disappoint Him and hurt Him because, as our creator, He wants what is best for us. But if we can continue to love our children through their failures with our imperfect human love, how much more does our perfect Heavenly Father love us with His perfect love? No sooner do we turn away from Him, than He is waiting for us to turn our hearts back in His direction so that His perfect love can fill the distance that we created between us and our loving 'Abba' Father.
How many times as a parent have we heard our children lose heart and lose faith in themselves or put themselves down? It is heartbreaking because we see them through the eyes of our love. I can only imagine how God feels when we lose sight of the good in ourselves. The immensity of His love for us must make Him ache when we move past realistic humility and proceed to self abuse, whether physically or emotionally or spiritually.
We must try to remember that the God who willed the universe into existence also chose us and created us in His image for a purpose. He loves us with perfect love and wants to pick us up, dust us off and repair our broken spirits. Like any loving Father, He wants to kiss our wounds and make us better. Unlike an Earthly father however, He truly has the power to heal us if we only allow Him into our hearts.
My daughters will often surprise me with their understanding of the world around us or how we are to be witnesses to holiness within it. When that happens, I rejoice that they 'get it'. They are learning and internalizing the things that my wife and I are trying to teach them.
We may feel like we are trudging through the muck down here making mistake after mistake. We need to remember however, that through God's eyes, even though He sees our failures, He is rejoicing in our triumphs, no matter how small they are. Each loving gesture we make, every time we ease the suffering of another, He smiles. Every time we struggle and win a battle over sin, He cheers us on. Every penny we give to help the poor or every time we stand up for others created in His image who cannot speak up for themselves, His heart overflows with joy in the beauty of our spirits.
This has to be the 'rejoicing' that the Psalmist was talking about. God rejoices when he sees that we 'get it'; that we truly understand the lessons that He came to Earth and took on flesh to teach us. He truly must take delight in us when we learn to love more perfectly, because as we move closer to perfect love, we are moving closer to our Heavenly Father who IS that Perfect Love.