I slid into the pew before the Blessed Sacrament, woeful and heavy-hearted. I needed to go to Confession but hadn’t yet had the chance. I’d come to pray, but sat enveloped in shame, imagining God’s eyes boring straight through to my inner ugliness. How could I deign to worship Him, knowing what I’d done?
But slowly, I understood it was my own eyes condemning me. God? He gazed down gently and lovingly, prodding me to lift my gaze to Him in return. Tears welled up as I sensed Him saying, Even this can’t stop My love for you. All I could do was sit there feeling wholly unworthy and undeserving as Unconditional Love wrapped His arms around me.
This was the first of two recent revelations that drove home the depth and realness of God’s personal love.
The other came during Mass one day when I was aching over the evil in our world. Suddenly, God revealed to me a deeper understanding of the Passion: it was not just for my sins that He willingly suffered His crushing, agonizing sacrifice—it was for every known and unknown evil, every horrific war and atrocity and soul wound, past, present, and future—all at the same instant in time.
And He took it all on, experienced every last bit, for love of us.
The readings today express this Divine Love in some beautiful language. Yet sometimes the scriptural examples of maternal love and healing still feel distant. We believe these truths for others while exempting ourselves, thinking we’re unlovable “as is.” We extol God’s love for others only to limit and qualify our lovability with, “but me . . . I’ve done this—and I don’t do that.”
To accept such Love we need to become confident in it. In these two revelations, God held out “proof,” pouring out the assurances He longs for all of us to accept.
And when we’re injured by sin, He picks us up—literally bleeding with Love—so we won’t have to walk that dark valley alone. Because in His passion, He’s already walked every last dark valley of bullying, betrayal, disgrace, slander, abuse, persecution, and death—to support us through it and redeem us from it.
All because we’re so eternally loveable.
Mediate for 5 minutes today on all the ways God pursues you in Love.
Megan Hjelmstad is a wife and mom 24/7 and an Army Reservist in her “spare” time. She’s a bibliophile, tea drinker, sleep lover, and avid admirer of Colorado’s great outdoors. When the writing bug hits, you can find out more about her here.