Sunday, April 7, 2013

Not Worthy

"Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
But only say the word, and I shall be healed."

The prayer is part of the Catholic Mass, said just before communion. 

I've always believed the first line, but have had more problems with  the second.  My sense of unworthiness has been helped along by a voice from somewhere in the past telling me that I must be good enough, or God wouldn't say the word, and I'd remain unhealed.  (unspoken is that part that I couldn't hope to be good enough.)

I am not worthy.  not worthy.  not. worthy...

This past week, too tired to do anything productive, I was trolling TED talks (my way of watching TV, I guess...).  I came across Brene Brown, talking about the connection between vulnerability and our ability to empathize and to love.  In her speech, she talks about a trait that whole-hearted people have in common:    they believe they are worthy.

I tried it on for size.

I am worthy.

It felt odd.  like I was boasting, full of myself, thinking I was better than I am, egotistical - a litany of comments from the past, all designed at the time to keep me in my place.

I tried again.

I am worthy.  I have worth. I am worthy.

It still felt odd.  But, somewhere down inside of me, a small voice piped up.  "Really?  I am?  There is hope and love and salvation for me?  Even though I am not good enough?"

I'm going to keep trying it on.

I am worthy.
I am worth loving.


  1. There are many crazy damaging messages we Catholics just internalized without questioning the validity, that being one of the most insidious. You are worthy and I hope you keep trying it on until you realize it's a perfect fit. I struggled with the very same feelings when I began exploring new thought principles. Saying out loud, "I am amazing!" felt embarrassing, like I was expecting someone to tell me how preposterous the statement was. I just felt like a liar. But, after lots of reading and reflecting, I have come to the realization that I really am amazing, and worthy of all the good the universe can pour into my life. So are you, my friend.

  2. Yes, there is hope and love and salvation for you. It's a Christian concept, even. It's called "grace," and the God I worship wouldn't be the God i worship, without it.

    Yes, you are worthy. Believe it, Child of God. I know Jesus does.