Love! Above all, may there be love! Ultimately, the story of the prodigal son is all about love. Unconditional love to be exact. It was not surprising for me to see this as today’s reading and then to hear over and over again throughout the Behold 2012 conference: From the Heart of God, the theme of love and forgiveness. The love of our God for us and the realization that He loves us with an unconditional love. We are GOOD. We have dignity. We are women. And as such, God loves us just as we are.
Through the talks today by Sr. Mary Elizabeth from the Sisters of Life on who we are as women and as creations of God, to the talk from Kate Wicker on the dignity and vocation of women and what that means, to the final talk from Ginny Baldrich on how to present God’s image of our dignity through dress and self-care, the day was ultimately a day of love. Forgiveness through confession, through letting go of our own baggage that we carried in with us, to the hugs, acceptance and love of everyone around us today, the day was the epitome of love.
Kate Wicker said during her talk, ”God made woman to complete man AND the world. Satan tempted Eve by saying: you’re not enough the way you are.” This statement truly spoke to me today because it is SO true. Women are told everyday by society that you aren’t good enough as you are. You need to be skinnier or prettier or have more stylish clothing or be sexier or ……………….. Saddest of all is the realization that this message has not changed one bit since the beginning of time. But, those messages are Satan talking, not God. The messages of God are of acceptance, forgiveness, warmth and the love of all loves that we all crave with our innermost being. Those messages were what was fed to those of us thirsty and hungry for the truth. And we found it today at Behold.
Being part of the community of women who organized and planned this day has been truly humbling. The women who make up the organizational team for Behold are the best definition of Catholic womanhood that I have known and I am humbled to have been asked to work with them. Today, I felt humbled just as the prodigal son felt humbled when his father held that celebration for his return. For within that celebration, then and now, was the unconditional love that we all seek. The love of Behold. The love of God.