52 Dresses: The Heart of a Woman as Seen by God
A new weekly series of meditations by Fr. Guillermo Serra, LC. See all chapters here.
Chapter 1 – A Sundress
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Rev. 12:1)
God loves me for who I am, dressed with the sun, with the kind light of Christ, in whom I am what I am called to be.
Mary, the perfect woman, is presented wearing this glorious dress. She is the complete fullness of what women are created to be, caring for us from heaven, inviting us to clothe ourselves in this sun that is Christ, her son. She, who carried Jesus in her womb, brings him into the sunlight in Bethlehem. At the end of her pilgrimage, she is dressed in life and warmth, in light and power; it is Christ who covers her, who makes her humanity shine in its fullness. There is no creature more beautiful because the light of the son perfects her, and it lets her see the totality of love perfectly, from the highest vantage point.
As you go through life at high speed, full of so many desires, this ideal may seem very distant from you. It appears even farther away when you are aware of the obstacles that seem to prevent any growth towards this perfection in love that you most long for.
You want it, you fight for it, and you can feel it. At the same time, you are weighed down by a sense of helplessness when your ideal seems to vanish, confronted by the harsh voices of the world that limit you and tell you to wake up to reality. You also have to contend with that inner critic that you let out too often; it screams at you, “You aren’t good enough… you never will be! It’s too much for you… don’t try.” So instead, you dress for others; to please them, so that they can’t hurt you, so that they like you, so that they think well of you, so that you have a sense of belonging so that you are accepted…
The love that you desire cannot come from outside, but only from within, from deep within. The unconditional love that you experienced, or should have experienced, during your childhood, although it may have had some wounds and limitations, now becomes your primary goal. You must seek it and accept it, freeing yourself from illusions that do not lead you to it. Revive the intuition that you carry inside, that trusted certainty that still burns in your heart. Every day you must let it tell you, “I am deeply known, in every detail, by the love that created me and takes me by the hand daily, by that light that exposes my limitations, but also illuminates them with his mercy.”
This love will allow you to overcome the sense of inadequacy that so often leaves you feeling naked and reaching into your closet of securities, full of the clothes you use to cover up the deepest longing of your life, to be loved.
God is offering you this sundress, wearing it, you will experience and rejoice in his unconditional love. This dress of light will make you see with clarity who you are, where you are from, and where you are going, in ways you have never seen before. In this dress, you will discover a different God, who knows you, who never judges you, and who accompanies you always with his tender and soft gaze.
Then, you will be able to look in the mirror and see your limitations and mistakes, your wounds and desires, in the light of the One who loved you, who loves you and who will love you forever.
TEXT FOR MEDITATION
You are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you (Is 43:4)
Learn to see myself in the gaze of Christ to discover my true identity. Enjoy the unconditional love of God in my soul.
This week I will make a list of those internal appearances, experiences, and limitations that hinder me from seeing myself as loved by God, as well as those external influences that do not allow God to tell me who I am.
TELL ME WHO I AM
Tell me who I am in your eyes;
show me in what place,
deep within your Heart,
I have lived from all eternity.
Tell me who I am in your questions,
those that reach into the depths
and leave me free of excuses,
naked in the middle of the road.
Extract taken from the book Jesús a mi alma © P. Guillermo Serra, LC