Perfect Us In Love

“Enable us to see your image in all men.
– and to serve you in them.
Perfect us in love, Lord.”

Mother Teresa

This is one of this morning’s prayers from Saturday Week II, Liturgy of the Hours.  The idea of trying to see God in others is nothing new, and it is something that Mother Teresa lived by.  I remember a story from one of her books about a new member of her community returning excitedly from a day of working in the streets of Calcutta.  She rejoiced in telling Mother Teresa “I touched the body of Jesus today!”  The bodies she had been touching were diseased and dying.

“Perfect us in Love” seems at first to be a rather obvious prayer, yet it is not a request to be asked without understanding the depth of what becoming perfected in love involves.  Love is such a misunderstood concept in our world (I say “concept” because it is so much more than an emotion, a feeling, or an action).  As I ponder the implications of this deceptively simple prayer I realize my own shortcomings when it comes to love.  When considering faith, hope, & love (1 Cor 13:13) St. Paul said “the greatest of these is love.”  In working for peace & justice, love must be central if our work is to be meaningful, and have a lasting impact.

“Enable us to see your image in all men.
– and to serve you in them.”

Being able to truly see each others as children of God is challenging.  I do try to look into another person’s eyes & see the Jesus in them or the Divine Being in their soul.  I speak from a Catholic perspective, but I am certainly aware of other faith-based religions that encourage their members to practice this (Ghandhi springs to mind).  If my hope is to serve my God, then seeing the Divine in everyone I meet automatically puts me in a unique place where I must choose.  I can choose to serve God by serving this child of God before me, or I can choose to ignore the Divine within a person & thus deny God.

Heavy stuff for a Saturday morning.  I usually like to spend a few days on my posts, but this really struck a nerve this morning.  I will have to give this some more thought.  Comments are welcome; deep conversations anticipated!


3 thoughts on “Perfect Us In Love

  1. I like the post, except this part, as I find it a risky generalisation – “all men” in:
    “Enable us to see your image in all men.
    – and to serve you in them.”
    Jesus did not call us to serve all men, per se, only those who are pure in heart.
    Sadly, there is a huge gap between the religion Jesus has founded and the wide variety of its interpretations.
    In fact the entire message of the Gospels has got lost – on one hand there is a total lack of love, mercy and understand towards those who treat others with these, while a lot of love, mercy and understanding is granted to those who don’t grant these to the others.

    • Thanks for the comments & I agree; I do not like to make generalizations, either. I especially can’t stand gender-biased pronouns in scripture! In an effort to accurately quote the Liturgy of the Hours, however, I copied the prayer exactly from my book. As for your other comments, I completely understand the “general” distaste for the hypocrisy that runs rampant in many religions (not just Christian-based), however, as Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners.” (Luke 5:32) I am happy to sit among fellow sinners at my church! We merrily support each other in our struggle for perfection, & laugh at our weaknesses!
      Personally I do not believe that the message of the Gospels, or of any sacred text, is lost. It is sadly distorted for political, religious-fundamentalist, & personal agendas, but there are many groups & individuals out there who leave these agendas behind. It is these loving people who are truly being perfected in love through their loving acts of compassion & mercy. Their focus is on serving the needs of others, regardless of the needy person’s political or religious beliefs.
      All is not lost, skywanderer, it’s just hard to see sometimes.
      On the “gender” thing: I will post a picture of my LOH book with it’s many “edits”!

      • Thanks for your reply. As usual, my point wasn’t understood and addressed, though.
        Just to point this out again in more exact terms: the helpless sinner is NOT the same as the purposeful evil-doer.
        Maybe one day mankind will learn to discern between the two; if not it will get extinct. Thanks for the dialogue.

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