The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Measuring Our Worth

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‘inner self or fb image?’

Largely taken from an article in the Far East Mag.

“Nobody likes me!” wailed the teenager when her Facebook image drew no response.
”I can’t possibly wear that old thing again,” complained another, of a relatively new dress.
“My friends have already seen me in it (on Social Media).”

Trying desperately to measure up to the expectations of others, whether real or imagined, is an obsessive pursuit of many people, not all of them teenagers. How many are the magazines dedicated to fashion, diets, cosmetics – all promising happiness if you follow their advice on how to change your life? Women and young girls are especially targeted with the subtle and not too subtle message that when you are this (Celebrity) size, wear these clothes, use these cosmetics, then you will be popular with all your circle of friends and acquaintances.

We live in a time where physical attributes seem to far outweigh those deeper, richer attributes of our heart. Keeping abreast with the latest fad/fashion can be exhausting but worst of all we are prevented from coming to know our true selves. Our inner child, inner self reflecting something of the innocence and beauty of our Creator, is in danger of being snuffed out by our efforts to be ‘relevant’. If we consistently live on the boundaries of our lives, as we are encouraged to do in this consumer driven world, we may never uncover the beauty within, our beauty within. Almost without knowing it we end up believing in the Photoshopped version of ourselves that we present to others. Of course, it need not be like this. We can decide to stop spinning, to slow down the frenetic pace and take care of our souls instead, take care of the unique and precious person beyond that image we choose to present to the world. To invest a little time now and then, to step back and take a look at our lives, ask ourselves where are we going, ask the Lord for guidance and ask for an awareness of His presence may be the best investment we will ever make. “Slow me down Lord” is a prayer for our harried time. Slow me down so that I can see how easily consumed I am, no longer in touch with my real life, my real self. “He leads me beside still waters, he refreshes my soul” (Ps23).

How freeing it is when we look beyond the surface and see our real person behind all our masks! Blessed are those who see the inner person, who are not put off by the surface, external appearance. Some months ago many were shocked at seeing a photo of Pope Francis embracing a severely disfigured man who suffered from a crippling disease. How could he possibly hug this poor, ugly, even repulsive looking individual? But our Pope like many a parent or carer or friend, saw the true person, the man beneath the surface…how good that man must have felt!

We should not measure our worth by the number of likes we receive on social media, Facebook, but often we do. We are loved for our uniquely true self, possibly more than we realise by our parents, our friends and others. Moreover, we are loved beyond our wildest expectations by Someone who can number the very hairs on our head and when we know this, it becomes so much easier to reach out to others with kindness, with love. Hmmm, now that’s something to put out on Facebook.


Published Tue 18th Apr 2017 23:54:37
Last Modified on Tue 18th Apr 2017 23:54:37

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