The ARM of St. Michael
Our Lord teaches "Love thy neighbor as thyself" Mark 12:31, and also, “He who loves his wife loves himself” Ephesians 5:29.
These sayings proclaim the centrality of all love. The next line in Ephesians adds "For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body."
Loving kindness toward others is beautiful, and proof that we are, to some degree, aware of our own welfare. We could even say, 'when I love someone else, two people will be blessed'.
It is probably also true to say that many addicts have not always loved themselves. "How can I love myself if I have done stupid things over and over again?"
Yet love is always a free and waiting choice. Love is a response to anything that could happen to me. We need Jesus, the Savior, his grace to be able to recognize again the freedom, the capacity to love, to do for others and ourselves, what is helpful or kind or caring. The life and work of the Christian is to love.
How can I love others if I do not love my self? As recovering addicts, loving ourselves may turn out to be some of the hardest work of all! In a sense, 'love thyself' is a commandment, perhaps a wise test case for caring also about others.
What God has commanded can be trusted. Perhaps then we are too hard on ourselves. God's love is precisely great because His clear and infinitely unstained eye sees all of the good in us, our scaly myopic addict eyes never seem to see.
Could it be that self-doubt is only in place because there is a din of negative voices inside, the only thing used to being heard? Is self-love impeded because we have "mala prop" or distorted hearing?
The Father loves us. If He loves us, who are we not to love ourselves? We then proclaim:
In the name of Jesus, I renounce and reject all the noise of unlove inside my own head.
In the name of Jesus, I renounce and reject all of the desolations of Satan.
In the name of Jesus, I forgive myself for not always nourishing and cherishing who I am.
In the name of Jesus I forgive myself for not having control over all of my imperfections.
In the name of Jesus I forgive myself for (…specific deformity or defect of character or lacking virtue...)
In the sacrament of confession, God forgives and then promptly forgets all of our sins forever. Who are we to not also forget our errors? But to be human is to often cling to what is known even if that something is distorted or broken. Israel took 40 years to cross the desert into promised land; this is a symbol of all fearing, insufficiently faithful or disobedient, human tendency, haunted by the past.
Consider then the litany of positive affirmation that follows. Pray it and use it as a mirror to see where we are with ourselves. If the Father loves us and does so infinitely, we can trust in His insistence to love ourselves, of which the devil can use nothing to sabotage our journey into sexual purity and holiness.╬
We are approaching the Church's Year of Mercy, let us prepare to be merciful to ourselves.
Litany to Love Thyself -Theresa Burke
In the name of Jesus, I am cultivating the practice of compassion with myself.
In the name of Jesus, I will treat myself only with loving kindness.
In the name of Jesus, I will show mercy to myself.
In the name of Jesus, I will speak the truth about myself with love.
In the name of Jesus, it is within my power to think positive, productive thoughts.
In the name of Jesus, it is within my power to make positive changes in my life.
In the name of Jesus, I welcome positive images of who I truly am.
In the name of Jesus, I am unconditionally acceptable to God.
In the name of Jesus, I am content and grateful for what I have.
In the name of Jesus, I take time to reflect on and appreciate the blessings in my life.
In the name of Jesus, I am awake to all the blessings in my life.
In the name of Jesus, I take up the Scriptures which are full of promises to me about the Spirit in His power.
In the name of Jesus, I accept the loving sacrifice that Jesus has made for me.
In the name of Jesus, I am not afraid to hope.
In the name of Jesus, I commend myself entirely to the Lord Who has a perfect plan to transform everything that has happened in my life and to infuse it with meaning and purpose.
In the name of Jesus, I trust in the power of God to heal the wound of addiction.
In the name of Jesus, I praise the God of hope Who is filling me with all joy and peace as I trust in Him, so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the name of Jesus, the Spirit of the Lord is come upon me in power and I am being changed into a different person.
In the name of Jesus, the Lord is strengthening me, out of His glorious riches, with power through His Spirit in my inner most being.
In the name of Jesus, my complete restoration is possible in Christ.
In the name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit anoints me with His grace.
In the name of Jesus, I willingly accept and receive the emotional support and help of others that I need.
In the name of Jesus, the love of God and others satisfies my deepest cravings as a human being.
In the name of Jesus, I enjoy taking part in social activities.
In the name of Jesus, my relationship with myself and with God is growing happier and more rewarding each day.
In the name of Jesus, I enter each situation in life with optimism and hope.
In the name of Jesus, I give thanks that the Holy Spirit is with me wherever I go and in whatever I do.
In the name of Jesus, my ability to experience joy and fulfillment increases each day.
In the name of Jesus, I love life and all of its wonders and possibilities.
In the name of Jesus, I am created in the very image of God, to reflect His love to the world.
In the name of Jesus, I exchange a life of perfectionism for inner peace and tranquility.
In the name of Jesus, I am being empowered to live a life of grace through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the name of Jesus, I accept myself as a person of great dignity.
In the name of Jesus, I have learned great wisdom about life.
In the name of Jesus, I like myself more now than at any other time in my life.
In the name of Jesus, I embrace opportunities to be intimate with Christ who is the tender lover of my soul.
In the name of Jesus, I am being sanctified as a beautiful child of God.
In the name of Jesus, my body is a sacred temple for the living God.