Crazy that we’re the only animals that think about God, yet we’re finite – we have limits to the reach of our bodies and minds. But we know there’s something bigger outside of us and in our best moments we want to connect with it. In our very best moments, we know that we’re part of that infinity and it’s part of us. We think of God in terms of lightness, of luminosity.
And in our not-so-good moments, we lower our sights from the big picture and do something petty (which means small) like suspecting a co-workers motives or using a relationship for what we can get out of it. Selfish thoughts and actions are to our souls like tarnish on a silver spoon. The spoon’s still precious metal, but it can be hard to tell through the dusky coating.
Our souls are bright beyond imagining, created in the image of God. In the deepest part of us, we’re created to love and to be loved. But we can obscure that beauty when we fall into anger, lust, or other unhelpful behavior that is so familiar. And so corrosive.
If corrosive actions have become vices, we can even feel worthless – as if we’re all tarnish with no silver left! But we are always precious, even when we mistakenly think we’ve done something unforgivable. Our brilliant self, the one that God sees, is always waiting to be uncovered.
Our souls can be buffed up shiny and new no matter how much tarnish we have. It takes some effort – and a little help from your friends – to reveal the real you, but it’s always worth it. And always possible!
After bringing our sins to be healed and forgiven in Confession, we apply Virtue, which is polish for the soul. Virtues are strengths of character that keep the tarnish away.
Last week I gave a friend advice about something that was none of my business. Ouch – did I really say that? I realized I was wrong, stirred up my courage, and apologized. Voila! That’s all it took to wipe the tarnish off our friendship. No matter what has tarnished your peace of mind, practicing virtues like courage and humility will buff away everything that dims the clarity of your dazzling true self.