Love As Christ Loved on the Cross

This past Holy Week, I stumbled upon a beautiful quote by St. Thomas Aquinas. The more I ruminated on the quote, the more directions I felt I could take with this quote.

As I reflected on this message, I began wondering about Jesus’ love for mankind.

As I look around, I notice our culture scurries around at a frantic pace. Barely taking time to acknowledge our routines, we pass by the media standards of “beauty,” without so much more of a glance.

And yet, those mild glances have an impact on our subconscious. All too often, we internalize unspoken messages regarding the “ideal weight,” “ideal body type,” the “ideal hair cut,” the “ideal facial structure.”

And then, we go home and begin to subconsciously see how we stack up against these pressures.

Too frequently, we walk away, feeling as though we are a failure –

a failure as a wife…

a failure as a mother…

a failure as a friend…

a failure as a woman.

I realized during Holy Week that we are charged to love as Christ loved. As He hung on the Cross, Christ loved us – with all our human imperfections, with all our foibles, He loved us.

He loves us.

When we are comparing ourselves to others, or even worse, when we are counting up the ways we are “failing,” we are falling into a trap set by Satan. We are heeding Satan’s words on our imperfections… we are focusing on all the things we, as human beings, find to be at fault within ourselves.

But, as Christ hung on the Cross,

He was loving every. bit. of. us!

He was loving our unwashed, unkempt hair as we place our need for a shower on the back burner for our children’s needs to come first.

He was loving the little extra weight we carry around – whether it be due to having a baby, or because we are focusing more on spending time with kids than getting that extra run in at the gym.

He was loving our un-made faces, too often with barely a trace of make-up since our focus was getting out the door on time with everyone dressed.

He was loving the wife…

the mother…

the woman you were destined to become!

So, this week, I challenge us to think of these lies perpetuated by Satan – the ones that we tell ourselves… that we aren’t good enough, we aren’t dressed well enough, our hair and make-up aren’t just right.

Recognize those lies!

And, immediately turn your thoughts to Christ.

Christ knew you, before you knew yourself. He alone knows your heart – more intimately than you know yourself.

And, Christ loved all of you… enough to die for you.

So, this week, place a sticky note next to the mirror you use every day, and repeat the following mantra ten times a day, simply because we are all His children – in whom He delights:

I am beautiful just the way I am.

I am loved just the way I am.

I am a cherished daughter of God.

I am beautiful just the way I am

This week, or dare I say this next month, I challenge you…

To love yourself as Christ loved you on the Cross!

26 thoughts on “Love As Christ Loved on the Cross

  1. Beautiful, and what so many people need to hear. They only person we need to be like is Christ, Anna we are already made in the image of God, so let’s focus on loving and serving our Good and His creation.
    Thank you for the much needed reminder.

    1. You’re most welcome! Glad this resonated with you! Because you are correct that we are already made in His image and likeness (actually one sentence that I forgot to build into here)!

  2. This is so beautiful, Anni! Challenge accepted! Such a lovely way to redeem poor thoughts and to reframe your thinking. Thank you so much! I think we all need a reminder of this from time to time.

    1. I agree! It’s so easy to forget – even for me to forget. I’m so glad you appreciated the reminder!! Just thinking of my challenge has made me excited today for some reason…!

  3. God doesn’t care what our human body looks like as long as it isn’t abused and misused. It is our inner beauty that He looks for. Things that “improve” our body are really just issues of self confidence, pride, and ego. The true inner beauty comes from the love, kindness, unselfishness, and caring that we show to ourselves and others. If we truly do the things that God asks of us, we will feel the beauty and love we have for ourselves, others, and God. We will understand our beauty. It’s not what’s on the outside that counts! I think my grandmother and mom said that forever. Thank you, Anni <3

    1. Whichever one said it was a wise woman. Love this thought, and intend to live it as well!

      Unfortunately, I think too many women succumb to societal pressure, and can also use this guidance.

  4. This is a beautiful and much needed message! I’ve been learning about Ignatian “desolations” and “consolations” lately, and that’s exactly what I thought of as I read this post. You nailed the inadequate feelings that we get by comparing ourselves, and allowing the desolations to take hold of our mind. And I love the consolation you gave at the end to replace it – I am beautiful the way I am, God loves me the way I am. That’s definitely a thought that restores hope! At the same time, I’ve found that my mental health (and a big part of that is my inner self-talk) improves greatly as my self care improves. When I sacrifice my shower, my exercise, my makeup, all for the sake of putting the kids first, I start to feel like a martyr, and I get resentful. But when I make it a priority to take care of myself, even if that means a little extra TV time for the kids, then I find I’m better able to care for them with a joyful heart. Balance is such an important thing!

    1. Those are all great points! I would challenge you, after your shower and before getting the make up on, to do the mirror challenge! Or, do it as you are looking deeply into your eyes – right before you line them. The point is to see you, in your natural beauty – the way God sees you! But, definitely still get made up, too! 🤗

      1. I do something similar – when I look in the mirror, I pray, “I praise You, God, for I am fearfully, wonderfully made.” Definitely made a huge difference to accepting myself the way I am. And I for sure say it more on days when that makeup doesn’t get done – I need the extra encouragement lol. But I love your point of God loving and accepting me exactly the way He made me!!! Thanks for that challenge, maybe it’ll help me not feel so eager to get to that makeup before I get out of the house lol.

    1. I told someone today the initial time you start out with this, it feels weird and silly, but by the tenth time, or several days in, this message is powerful! I’m glad the reminder was helpful!

  5. Great Post!
    Have you ever read the book “Love Idol” by Jennifer Lee? She addresses this topic and the general topic of our need for approval. It is a great read and a great book to study.

    1. I have not heard of it!! I look forward to looking into it, and getting more insight. This was just a new epiphany for me this past week, so I would definitely be interested in reading another person’s take.

      Thanks for the recommendation!

      1. Someday, I hope to write a book… I guess you can say it is on my bucket list. I will definitely check these recommendations out!

  6. Sticky note reminders are AMAZING! Such good advice and something we as moms and wives need often!!!

  7. Oh, my. Very much worth reading. Particularly since this, that being ‘worthy’ isn’t what our Lord looks for in me, is something I’m still trying to learn – not as ‘head knowledge,’ but something that my heart accepts as true.

    1. Thank you! I agree – sometimes the head and the heart don’t have the clearest communication patterns. And, the mantra can be changed to “I am a cherished son of God.” The rest of the message is the same! I just wrote from the perspective as a woman.

      I’m thrilled you enjoyed this post!

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