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A New Season
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"A New Season"

"Identity" (Relational Truth: part 2)

          Our true identity is revealed to us by the Father in the context of a 'great and astonishing' love. In 1 John 3:1 we read:

"See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are."

In this profound verse that opens chapter three of John's first letter, we note first of all the presence of the first three of our four foundational elements in the formation of a contemplative intercessor: "what love" (love); "The Father" (relationship); and "children of God" (identity). This verse confirms the truth that who we really are is made known to us in the context of a relationship of love with the Father.

          We highlight here two words from these verses: "what love", and "bestowed". Here the word, what, used as an adjective means, 'how great, how astonishing'. The word, bestowed, means, 'to present as a gift or honor'. With these two words understood as such, we might restate 1 John 3:1 as: "See how great and how astonishing a love the Father has presented as a gift, as an honor, on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are." The Father has made known to us the 'great gift' of His personal Love both through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We read in Eph. 2:45, "God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us...brought us to life with Christ." A great and astonishing love comes to us from a 'great and astonishing Father'!

          Each of us is a 'cherished child' of a most Loving Father. The word, cherish, means 'to treat with affection and tenderness; to hold dear'. The root meaning of the word is 'dear'. Each of us is loved tenderly and dearly by our Heavenly Father. Each day we experience "the tender mercy of our God" (Luke 1:78) who always remembers us:

"Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you" (Is. 49:15).

Two words that share the same root meaning as the word, cherish, are the words, caress and charity. Everyday I experience the loving caress of the Father in many ways whether it be in the Eucharist, in personal prayer, through interior inspirations and consolations, or in my daily encounters with other people. Being so loved, so embraced and so cherished I am able through grace to exercise the gift of charity: To love God above all things for his own sake, and other people as myself for the love of God.

Questions:

1)   Do I experience myself as 'cherished child' of the Heavenly Father?

2)   Can I recall recent experiences of the Father's loving 'caress'?

Scriptures:

Any scripture from the text; Psalm 89:27; Mt. 11:25-27; 2 Cr. 1:3

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-EIGHT, TIME TO EXPIATE"

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