Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Love The Person, Not The Personaity
"Love the person, not the personality!"
Those words were spoken by my priest this weekend in his homily. It was exactly what I needed to hear. He was talking about a story from long ago when he first became a priest. There was a change of leadership at a church where the pastor was very dynamic and well loved by his parishioners. The new pastor was not seen as enthusiastic as the previous priest. The congregation was frustrated and began writing letters trying to convince whoever would listen that the new pastor was not doing a good job.
After awhile the dynamic priest became aware of his former parishes complaint. He found an excuse to come back one weekend and celebrate mass. He began mass by apologizing to everybody in the pews..at first people were relieved thinking he was saying sorry he left them. But he went on, "I'm sorry I failed you all. You see, I may have built a great, thriving parish but I clearly missed teaching you all to love. You must love the person, not just the personality."
He went on to explain that we love Christ..therefore must love who is in "persona Christi"...in place of Christ....even if we don't LOVE the personality!
I sat there on Sunday, just having wrapped up a pretty weepy week, stunned. I have a child that I was failing to LOVE...and it was exactly for this reason..PERSONALITY !!
My sweet child and I can struggle to get along sometimes and I was thinking all week that I just wished I had the key to fixing it. I remember thinking that...what am I missing...
LOVE...not performance....not attention...not expectations...not failures....not hurt feelings...not past mistakes..just LOVE.
Simple...not the personality...THE PERSON!!
... not the grades produced....The PERSON!
.... not the conversations we have or don't have....THE PERSON!