Man is that strange creature that needs not just physical birth but also appreciation if he is to subsist . . . If an individual is to accept himself, someone must say to him: “It is good that you exist” – must say it, not with words, but with that act of the entire being that we call love.This is just a tiny bit of an excerpt from Pope Benedict that The Anchoress quotes in a searching and insightful post. She travels from seeing President Obama as a rather chilly, off-putting individual to looking beneath the surface to his "I" as Pope Benedict would put it. To seeing the person behind the surface elements.
This is a hugely important reminder to us all, especially in the last days of Advent. It is easy to talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk ... well, politics and personality and history and every other element that make us different individuals can rise to the surface and make us forget that we are to love one another as we love ourselves.
In this, The Anchoress leads us to consider where to turn in following Mother Teresa's command:
Find your own Calcutta.It isn't as far away as you might think.
It is in the in-laws who interfere and don't appreciate our beloved family members.
It is in the teacher who picks on our children.
It is in the checker in the grocery store who doesn't smile and isn't nice and won't accept our coupon. Or who chats too much and wants to be our friend. (Depending on my mood ... because it's all about me isn't it?)
In fact our Calcutta is within ourselves. As we struggle to live the command to love one another no matter how unlovable those "others" seem to be.
Read The Anchoress's piece and let us ponder it in our hearts. We must ask where we are being called to love until it hurts ... to show them that "It is good that you exist."