Recently shared by one of my Facebook friends, this really made my day! It addresses in a lighthearted way, a universal, mysterious and often painful phenomenon. We cannot go too far in life before we recognize the fact that not everyone finds us amazing. Even after years of diligently praying for enlightenment and grace, reading Scripture, listening to conferences, examining our consciences, living the ascetical life, eradicating vices, acquiring virtues, and even studying all the self-help improvement manuals, there are people who still do not like us. This can be discouraging, to say the least, and can even lead to a form of bitter despair. Women are especially prone to this kind of discouragement since we are so very sensitive to personal relationships. We begin to suspect that the problem is not in what we do, but in who we are. If others who ought to love us rather dislike us, does that mean we are of little worth as human beings? No! It just means that we are not being seen for who we truly are. We may need to do more to reveal our true selves. Or it may be that our critics have bad taste.
We have to start from the premise that we are made in the image and likeness of the All Good and All Beautiful God. We are each like mirrors reflecting the Divine Goodness and Beauty from a slightly different angle. But sometimes our mirrors are clouded or covered over. It is part of our task in life to shine up our mirror so that we can better show God to the world. But it would be an insult to the Divine Artist if we should smash that mirror or try to position it in another direction because someone happens to dislike what is seen there. And the street runs in both directions. When we find ourselves saying that we “just don’t connect” or “this relationship doesn’t click” or “the chemistry is bad” when we regard another human being, then it may be that we have bad taste. Then it is our task to see with the eyes of love the good and beautiful image of God hiding beneath the deceptive covering. We must have faith in the dignity of each human being and be willing to make every effort to penetrate beyond the sometimes distressing surface. Cloistered nuns become experts in this art, for God delights in calling every sort of personality to His cloisters, especially His Poor Clare ones! If we persevere, we develop an “acquired taste” for each of our Sisters who may be difficult for us to like on the natural plane. Eventually, personality differences cease to be annoying and threatening, but rather become interesting and intriguing. After all, variety is the spice of life. We all dress alike, but oh, there is nothing more unique than a good Poor Clare!