In God's image and glory

Whenever I do an assembly or presentation about Catholic Social Teaching in a school, I always stress the fundamental principal of dignity. I want the children to know that they were all created and are all held in equal love by God, to whom they are immensely precious, regardless of how they look, what they possess (or not), and whether they're good or bad at maths or sports. I want them to know, and remember, that they have been endowed with an innate worth, and that whatever they may experience, however small and worthless life might make them feel, now or in the future, this worth - this dignity, this love - can never be taken away from them. And I want them to understand that this is true for themselves, and for everyone else... to understand the essence of these words from Evangelii Gaudium, para 274: 

If we are to share our lives with others and generously give of ourselves, we also have to realise that every person is worthy of our giving. Not for their physical appearance, their abilities... or for any satisfaction that we might receive, but rather because they are God’s handiwork, his creation. God created that person in his image, and he or she reflects something of God’s glory. Every human being is the object of God’s infinite tenderness, and he himself is present in their lives...

I say that I want the children to know and remember their innate dignity, but a teacher recently reminded me that actually, there are a lot of adults in the hall who need to hear this as well! 

I thought of all this when I saw this chirpy Sacred Heart in a presbytery window. Yes, he's gaudy and kitsch; he's a bit battered, and minus a finger... but he made me smile, and, even with his missing finger, he's still able to convey you're great - and you're doing alright... He also reminded me of the first blog I wrote for the feast of the Sacred Heart, back in 2011. In Always a winner I wrote that I was celebrating the tender, compassionate, all-embracing love of a Heart to whom we are ALL winners. A Heart which looks with kindly understanding on our efforts and idiocies, gently helping us up and dusting us down when we fall over. A Heart which beams with joy and overwhelming love and believes we're great, even though we're sure we're not.

We're almost halfway through the month of the Sacred Heart: a Heart bursting with the Love which created, holds and looks upon us all with equal, unmeasured love and delight, and fills us with dignity as bearers of his image and glory.  Are we able to believe and remember this for ourselves, whatever life might throw at us? And is there anyone to whom we need to make this love, and their innate worth, known? How can we do this?


  1. Thank you Silvanna for this beautiful reflection.


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