Karinann at The Daughter of the King has tagged me for a MEME. It's been forever, it seems, since I've participated in one of these. The theme for this one is "Why I Love Jesus." The rules are to list five reasons why I love Jesus and then tag five other bloggers to join in. I love this MEME because it provides great food for thought and I have enjoyed reading others' "reasons," but on the rule part, well, I can't comply...
It was a little over four years ago when I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, living a fragile life before what seemed like an overnight crash into depression, when I wanted to know what it was about me that could possibly be lovable. I was so full of self-hatred that I couldn't imagine anyone who would be fool enough to love me. So, naturally, I turned to my husband and put him to the test. "Why do you love me?" I asked him again and again.
I was looking for praise, something to boost my self-esteem, something that I might believe in so that I too, could love myself. My husband, wise man that he is, could sense the beginning of an argument and knew that any quick answer he might have given me would put him in deep water, sort of like that infamous question asked right before a big night out- "Does this dress make me look fat?" He struggled to answer my question, fearing that no matter how he answered, he would lose. He gave me lots of vague reasons such as "I don't know why I love you but I can't imagine not loving you," and "It's habit, I guess, because I've just always loved you." Not satisfied, I kept after him until he gave me tangibles-"you're kind, you're hard-working, you're beautiful, you're a good mother, etc."
But maybe I really didn't want to know the reason why he loved me, maybe all I really needed was the reassurance that yes, he always did and always will love me, and then I realized that his first answer made the most sense.
Had he quickly came up with one of those tangibles, had he simply said he loved me because I am kind, I would have been hurt because he didn't mention the other things. In his wisdom, he gave me the right answer in the first place, that is, "I love you because of who you are. I love you because you are you."
During all of the hours that I spend in church for Mass or Adoration, I spend the majority of that time telling Jesus that I love him. I don't think that I have ever bothered to tell him why I love him or have even thought about why I love him. Sure, I've offered many prayers of thanksgiving for all of his kindness and generosity towards me. But that's not why I love him. Even without those many blessings that have been generously poured into my life, I would hope that I would continue to love him even through a life of hardship. In truth, I simply love Jesus because of who he is. I love him because he is Jesus, and no other answer could ever satisfy.
Jeff at Secret Harbor had a recent post called "Tu quis es?" in which he listed many of the "I Am" titles for Jesus. Perhaps his closing line best sums up the reason why any of us would say that we love Jesus; simply because we are compelled by love to love the great I Am.
"But as love compelled Jesus to do everything He did, love must compel us to come to the Cross. We never have to bear it alone, Jesus is there with us. And when we find that courage, then we will hear those beautiful words in our hearts: “Behold your Mother” (Io 19, 27). And: Mother, behold your son/daughter; that is to say: Behold him/her whose love compels him/her to be with us. That’s what saints are made of! "
I tag the following saints:
Beth at Credo Catholic
Tom at Do Not Be Anxious
Tiffany at Family at the Foot of the Cross
Theresa at Carmelite Mom
Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii