“May Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all-pure Mother; of the holy, glorious, and praiseworthy Apostles… and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loves mankind.” (Dismissal, Byzantine Divine Liturgy)
This seemingly-obvious fact is often repeated in our church-services, – that God is “good” and loves us. We need to be reassured of this fact, again and again; that He, indeed, loves “us.” That is to say, He loves the people “we” are now, as we are, with all our strengths and weaknesses. I need to embrace this astonishing truth, again and again, so that I can see myself as God does, both honestly and mercifully. In the inimitable words of Thomas Merton, “…The man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God's love precisely because of his shortcomings, can begin to be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not in his own illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God.” Help me, Lord, be good to myself, as You are to me.