Our personalities have a potential for being God-like.

Sunday, 2/19/12
The cure of that paralytic was nowhere as marvelous as God's making us in his image.
At Gettysburg Lincoln said, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” He was wrong about that, but that comment has been verified over and over in regard to Catholic Church documents. For instance, how many Catholics are  aware that Vatican II issued a  “Declaration On Christian Education?” How many Catholics know that Rome has a Congregation for Catholic Education?  

People in ignorance of those entities have missed out on a beautiful aspects of our faith. They have missed the phrase in the “Declaration On Christian Education” that tells us, “True education is directed toward the formation of the human person.” They have missed a refinement of that statement issued by the Congregation for Catholic Education.

In 1988 the Congregation’s prefect, Cardinal William Baum, narrowly defined what the Church wants of her teachers. He wrote that their duty was to help each student in developing his or her personality. Then, he reminded us that Vatican II asked us to employ two aids to personality development. One has us providing opportunities for students to interact with each other. The other was urging them to set goals, and freeing them to devise their own means for reaching those goals.

We all have been taught that God made us in his own image and likeness. So, with all of being like God , shouldn’t it follow that we would be like each other, clones? That  certainly is not the case. To explain our differences we can employ the metaphor of seeing God as a many faceted jewel, with each of us mirroring a different facet of his infinitely variegated being.

Of course, we do not see facets of God’s beauty riding the bus with us. What we see are people with severely underdeveloped potentials for being God-like. Saints, by their steady practice of avoiding evil and doing good may develop a high percentage of their potential for mirroring God’s beauty. The rest of us have cloudy visages which at rare intervals may show flashes of Godliness.

If all of us could develop our God-like potentials we would be like jigsaw pieces that could be fitted together into the divine image. Short of that, as an individual you can  go with the Army’s motto:  “Be all that you can be.”


NicoleBamba said...

Hello Fr. Sullivan!

I am a bit conflicted about a meditative exercise I had to complete for a class I am taking. First of, it is called "Meeting Aesclepius". In learning of this title, I already felt a bit apprehensive. The meditation started with instructions to think of a wise, compassionate and loving person you feel a strong connection to, alive or dead. Naturally, I thought about Jesus Christ. The meditation was going well until it instructed me to allow the image to dissolve and enter my body so that I become that image. Immediately, I felt uncomfortable with that. I decided to improvise a little and instead, imagined the Holy Spirit entering my body, permeating my entire being with loving kindness and compassion. I understand that we are all called to be God-like, but I am conflicted with the suggestion of being "Jesus". Would it be acceptable for the sake of this meditative exercise to imagine that I am Jesus, or would that be blasphemous? Your response would be greatly appreciated!



Fr. Sullivan said...

Thanks for your fine comment.
I am at a loss in this age in which people talk about what the Holy Spirit is doing. I was raised on Thomas Aquinas who said that the actions of Father, Son and Spirit differ only within the Trinity. (The Greek Fathers thought of that action as similar to a holding-hands dance; the Greek word for such a dance was perachoresus). What God does affecting us outside the Trinity is the action of the One God. I hold fast to the opening words of the Creed; "I believe in one God."

Post a Comment