Wow…if you don’t get this you don’t get jack….
Page 107, 108
“If the disciple John were to be asked, “What is your primary identity, your most coherent sense of yourself?” He would not reply, “I am a disciple, an apostle, an evangelist,” but “I am the one Jesus loves”.
When, like John, you have experienced Jesus’ love through real and intimate connection, you become anchored more and more in complete identification with the love of God.
And how deep does such identification go? What follows may be the most important sentence in this book:
The love of God is who you are, the compassion of Christ is the only solid identity you will ever apprehend. All thought of identity apart from this single, magnificent truth are shadow and illusion. The love that God unwaveringly holds for you, received without your immortal soul, is your real identity, your true self. The love of God is everything, and you are nothing apart from this one love. Immersed in your compassionate God, you live and move and have your being. Because the love of God is who you are, the most accurate way to think about your true self, the one phrase that can resonate deep within your being, is “I am the beloved of Christ.” Can you open yourself to this wondrous truth? You are the beloved.
The glory of God is at home in you.
In his book, Life of the Beloved, Henri Nouwen boils down the spiritual life to that one concept: becoming the beloved. We must all stop racing around trying to build self-definition founded in clay and rust. The love God gratuitously gives is your identity: “You are the beloved.” And you must dare to believe this is who you are. You must contradict the numerous voices that would align your personhood with wounds and performance. Your response to God’s love is so crucial because the spiritual life begins with identity, and the ultimate significance of your life–all action, each thought, every prayer-is formed and informed by the foundation of identity.
Nouwen: “Becoming the Beloved means letting the truth of our belovedness become enfleshed in everything we think, say or do. It entails a long and painful process of appropriation or, better, incarnation. As long as “being the beloved” is little more than a beautiful thought or a lofty idea that hangs above my life to keep me from becoming depressed, nothing really changes. What is required is to become the beloved in the commonplaces of my daily existence and, bit by bit, to close the gap that exists between what I know myself to be and the countless specific realities of everyday life. Becoming the beloved is pulling the truth revealed to me from above down into the ordinariness of what I am, in fact, thinking of, talking about and doing from hour to hour.”
To the extent that your head and heart both receive your belovedness, you find your true self and begin a life of fiery transformation.”