What makes a recruitment poster like the classic below effective? Personalism?
There’s no doubt that those steely eyes and that pointed figure are aimed at you.
And as easy as it is to dismiss God as a remote, disinterested overlord, His approach, too, is personalist.
As you’ve been created.
Not an automaton.
Not as His minion.
As His cherished love.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5
God’s individual call to love is mesmerizing. You can be you and be loved, be the perfection of God’s creation. And all the while be a deer-hunting religious sister. Or a football-playing seminarian. Or a professional athlete with an operatic singing voice. There are as many paths to becoming who you are as there are souls.
In his address to young people at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, Pope St. John Paul II said, “Do not be afraid to be the Saints of the New Millennium, if you become who you are you will set the whole world on fire.”
It’s precisely this blossoming, this becoming who she is meant to be that makes the character Rebecca so attractive in the final scenes of Stay With Me.
So often we fear that in following Christ or in loving fully, we may lose ourselves, but nothing could be farther from the truth. For that is when we are most fully who we were created to be.
What is the appeal, after all, of romance? Part of the attraction is the desire to be loved by at least one person with an incomparable love. Attraction, desire, longing, followed by a decision to love in which flaws are recognized and yet the lover is still adored despite her imperfections. She is cherished, cared for, and prized above all others exactly as she is.
“Become who you are.”
Doesn’t that directive, in all its simplicity and complexity, make for a good New Year’s resolution?
Who have you resolved to be in 2016?
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