Self-Respect

For those who have lost their self-respect:

There are many things that can damage one's self-respect.

We hear a story of a woman who was visiting the Franciscan friars one evening. When she arrived home, her husband confronted her, sure that she had been with a lover. She answered his accusations by saying that she had been visiting a group of lovers, for the friars were men who loved God. Her husband was so enraged at what he considered to be an insulting answer that he grabbed her by the hair and tore it off her scalp by the roots.

The next morning she summoned St. Anthony and told him what had happened. He went home and summoned the friars and they prayed for the unfortunate woman. By the time that her husband arrived home, her hair had miraculously become reattached.

Yet, the greatest source of our self-respect is not how we look or how much we earn. It is that we are loved by God. Even though we are broken and sinners, God loves us. St. Anthony said, "How incredibly good God is! With what great dignity he treats sinners. The eternal God established His dwelling place in the heart and spirit of the one who repents."

If God loves us this much, even when we sin and turn our backs on Him, how could we doubt our self-worth.

Prayer for oneself:

Jesus,
St. Anthony spoke of your love for us
and the incredible dignity you have bestowed upon us.
May I l believe his assurances.
Teach me, through the intercession of St. Anthony,
to love myself as much as you love me.
Amen.

Prayer for others:

Jesus,
St Anthony spoke of your love for us
and the incredible dignity you have bestowed upon us.
Help _____ to believe his assurances.
Teach _______, through the intercession of St. Anthony,
to love himself/herself as much as you love him/her.
Amen.

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