It seems as though self-love has been a difficult concept to reconcile in the Christian tradition. If we love ourselves is that not a sign of pride and therefore sinful? Or what does it mean to love our neighbor as ourselves? It is a difficult concept to understand, but it is an important concept that builds upon the very foundation of what it means to be human. We also have this concept of friendship. What does it mean to be a friend of Jesus when we it is difficult to foster and nourish friendship in this world? What does it mean when Jesus says I no longer call you servants, but friends? Teresa of Avila and Julian of Norwich offer insight into these problems and help us to see what it means to be a friend of Jesus and how that in turn allows us to love ourselves in a humble and appropriate way. I will begin by explaining the meaning of friendship in Julian and Teresa and then move into a discussion on how this informs self-love.
Life is great right? Let's see we have school, work, school, work, sleep, eat, school, and work. Wait. It seems like something is missing. Yes, something is missing and I was reminded of it today at church during the sermon. Today's Gospel reading was from Mark 8:27-35. Now you don't have to get your Bibles out unless you really want to, I think I can sum it up.
In this section Jesus poses the question "Who do they say that I am?" Well, there are lots of answers such as John ht Baptist, Elijah, and a prophet. I like next question that He asks: who do you say that I am? What a great question. Who is Jesus? Well, there are many texts throughout the Bible to know who Jesus is. God says, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him" (Mk 9:7, Mt 17:5). There are also many descriptions in the Old Testament, so we know exactly who Jesus is. He even tells us that He is the Son of Man and will suffer greatly and die, then in three days rise. Needless to say, we know who Jesus is.