by James Paulin
Self image plays a powerful role in our physical and mental state of mind. Isolation due to feelings of inferiority, inability or discrimination has become more publicized among adolescents with many saddening results. Bullying and immature tormenting can drive young people into serious depression and even suicide. So many times children and adults suffer because they have less appeal due to circumstances of bodily appearance, financial means, ethnicity or other supposed imperfections. Few can manage the character to ignore the perceptions of popular peers be they true, false or just plain mean. Positive notions of acceptance and appreciation enable our confidence. However, sometimes the brave must reject popularity or the status quo in favor of defining who they really are.
When Adam was alone, he was unhappy until Eve was created out of his body, a companion with whom he could share mutual admiration. There is value in solitude but man is a social being, emotionally grounded with a support group, even if just one other person. With a strong desire to be considered fit, trim and thus attractive, modern society places great importance on bodily appearance as well as fashionable styles. We admire those who are able to flaunt their physique and keep it up consistently.
There is no mention of descriptive statistics about Jesus in scripture as to height, weight or complexion. Much is written concerning His personal view of Himself. When asked, He spares no bounds in saying, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, I am the Light of the World or I am the Son of God. He defines Himself by using His body and blood as a living sacrifice, offered freely, as atonement for each person’s sins. He used it, not to be appealing in fitness but to appeal to sinners with unconditional love. As a sign of consistence, His perfect resurrected body still bears the wounds made by nails and a lance. When we see Jesus there will be no doubt who He is.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.