CHAPTER 4: A Dress of Mercy
I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven loves little. -Luke 7:47
Lord, your mercy is my only merit.
Throughout every woman’s life, new challenges arise. One in particular, despite being routine, never stops being new. Every morning you have to choose how to dress and what to wear.
Your decision is based partly on the season, the weather, and the day of the week. You find what fits, pick a dress and put together an outfit that suits the occasion. But you also try to dress to present yourself well, to please others and to feel secure in what you are wearing.
What if you didn’t have to worry about choosing a dress to wear, if you could just be yourself and not have to dress for others or even to satisfy yourself? What if you could be comfortable and confident and simply live in what you were wearing when you woke up—yes, your favorite pajamas? What would happen if you didn’t have to fix yourself up, get dressed and worry about your appearance or your self-image? Imagine if you could just let yourself be loved and pampered in a dress that gives you security, confidence, and peace?
In your relationship with God, don’t you find that you often strive to dress a certain way to try to give him reasons to love you, to forgive you, or to feel close to you? When you feel you lack any reasons or causes to be loved, it is like you have stayed in your pajamas without being able to put anything else on, without being able to put on your makeup or make yourself “presentable.”
If you don’t see any merit in your life, that’s when you should thank God most for the dress of mercy that he offers you. This is how he created you to be, in your purest state and essence. He sees past all the layers you try to put on to cover yourself, and he knows the depths of your heart.
I would dare to say that God’s mercy is a call for you to feel comfortable wearing the pajamas of your misery and limitations, without seeking to be dressed in reasons that you are worthy of his love. You do not have to make yourself presentable before him. Instead, God with his mercy makes you presentable, beautiful, and precious in his eyes.
Let yourself be embraced as when you were little and your parents took you up in their arms as you woke up. You opened your sleepy eyes in the comfort and warmth of your pajamas. You felt cherished and loved. Curl up confidently in the arms of your Father, who does not need reasons to love you.
Since God’s love and mercy are infinite, when you wear the dress of mercy your merits are many. Your dress of misery changes. It begins to shine to the extent that you let God embellish it with his embrace of unconditional love. He wants to do it, you just have to let him.
Learn to wake up every morning, opening your eyes with trust in the one who is by your side, knowing you do not have to dress yourself in human merits for him. Be yourself, and he will make you worthy and lovable with his mercy.
TEXT FOR MEDITATION
What can I count on? My own merits? No, “My only merit is God’s mercy. I am by no means lacking merits as long as he is rich in mercy. If the mercies of the Lord are manifold, I too will abound in merits” -St. Bernard of Clairvaux
JOURNEY / CHALLENGE
This week repeat to yourself, “my only merit is his mercy” throughout the day, dressing yourself in God’s mercy and being filled with confidence in his love each day.
TO ABANDON MYSELF TO YOU
I want to be free, as my humanity weighs heavily on me;
To climb mountains and see everything in the distance;
To cross the fields quickly;
To walk on water, my eyes fixed on you.
To cast off the ropes and chains,
Everything that limits and hurts me;
To ride the sea, dressed in the wind;
To watch sunsets in breathtaking silence.
All new and secure,
Abandoned in your strong Heart,
Without any plans or desires, only being,
Because in simply being with you, I am more yours.
And being next to you, what else could I ask for?
I have already left everything, what more could I gain?
If you are with me,
Nothing can trouble me.
Extract taken from the book Jesús a mi alma © P. Guillermo Serra, LC