The next right that must be reclaimed is your right to worthwhileness. I love that commercial that says, “It is expensive, but I am worth it.” When we are shamed we seldom, if ever, place ourselves as the priority when it come to healthy love and healthy living. Boy, I wish I had a penny, yes just a penny, for all the times I have had to remind those I have journeyed with of the Commandment that the rabbi Jesus taught His followers: “You shall love your neighbor, as yourself.” So very few, when they approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation, examine themselves on that basic commandment. The present Bishop from Green Bay has said that “a healthy love of God, and a healthy love of another, BEGINS with a healthy love of self.” We will never be healthy spiritually until we live our lives in the reality of a love that is “patient and kind.” A love that takes no offense, and is not resent-full.” That is the lens through which our Gracious Prodigal God sees us. Any distortion, and there has been so much distortion that vision must of necessity be fought. There are consequences to fighting this distortion. Look at how much flak Pope Francis is taking from some “good” people within the church. We must always remember that it was “the good people” of Jesus’ time that conspired to kill Him. History has a way of repeating itself. In so far as, we are seeing ourselves through the lens of God’s love will we live lives free of toxic shame. We will be able to live in the reality of being, perfectly imperfect, human beings. We will spend our whole lives wrestling with that reality. We do, however, have The Sacrament of Reconciliation to strengthen us for the struggle. A Sacrament that is so misused, because it is so misunderstood. It is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, not, obliteration. To make the spiritual journey even more challenging, reconciliation is a process that takes place under grace. My mother taught me a long time ago, “the mills of God grind very slow, but they grind ever true.” That slow working of God’s grace does not, and never has sat well with this Irishman. When we claim our God given worthwhileness we will live out our daily lives as survivors, and not as victims. We, then, remove all those who do not respect, and reverence us. We are to set boundaries with those who would use and abuse us. That is why; we have been endowed by our Creator God, with the gift of anger, so that our boundaries will be defended, from the constant attack from those who have no boundaries. This is the battle that must be fought on a regular basis. As long as we live within the bonds of family life healthy boundaries will ALWAYS be tested.
The last right to be claimed is the right to have fun. “St.Irenaeus,” The glory of God is the human person fully alive.” There must be someplace where the joy of living must be experienced. The Pope has come out against “sour pusses.” Followers of The Good News must let all know that we have a God with a sense of humor, a living God that is reflected in the joy of fun we are having. We are not called to live the life of Job; we are called, chosen to be sacraments of the risen life. A life that comes to us, through slow transformation of our pain.