Our hearts are divided. Our very positive heart wishes—to love, to be loved, to share our experiences and to grow—program us for infinity, for love encounters with God and others. On the other hand, our wounded hearts drive us to self-centeredness, the force that alienates us from God, others and even ourselves. Only a God-centered vision of life empowers us to fulfill our heart wishes, to live the fully human life, and to grow in holiness. Thus, the first and primary virtue for the human person is God-centeredness.

How do we struggle against our self-centeredness and make God-centeredness the focus of our life vision? John Powell, SJ tells us that our life vision consists of five attitudes—our attitudes toward God, self, others, life and creation. Saints and sinners, and everyone in between, we all have some kind of a vision or set of attitudes that account for the way we live our lives. However, when we choose God or self as the center of our life vision, a choice we are faced with each day, that decision impacts all the other factors in our life vision. Then we perceive the other factors either through God’s eyes or through our eyes.

To choose God as the center of our life vision, we must grow in our appreciation of who God is so that we can give God top priority. So we must begin with our concept of God, our attitude toward God.

Actually, the Trinity reveals who God is. God is the love relationship at the heart of reality. We who are made in God’s image are loved by the boundless love of an Infinite Lover. God is both Father and Mother. God is incarnate, flesh and bones, in Christ, Who remains incarnate in the Eucharist. At the same time, Christ is the Mystical Christ Who embraces all humanity in His Mystical Body. Further, At the same time that God is Transcendence and Majesty, God is love and presence and self-giving in His Spirit. Indeed, God is a many-splendored God Who satisfies all the wishes of our hearts.

When we progressively come to appreciate more deeply who God is, what He desires for us and what He has done for us and does for us, this new appreciation radically changes the I—God relationship, our attitude toward God. Then our attitude toward self changes: I am no longer God, but I am uniquely gift and the recipient of a continuous flow of gifts from my Creator-Lover.

Once we have changed our attitude toward God and ourselves, we have changed the two key factors in our personal vision. This metanoia (conversion) impacts all the other factors in our personal vision—our attitude toward life (a gift of God), others (my brothers and sisters) and creation (a gift of God).

While this moment of conversion is sweet, due to our wounded nature, we must work each day to grow in the virtue of God-centeredness with all our relationships flowing from our relationship with God. We must strive each day to see through God’s eyes ourselves, others, life and creation. That is the ideal vision, the Christian Vision.

Another way of looking at holiness is that holiness is the ideal vision that drives our ideal values and our ideal practice (the way we live our lives). The basic dynamic model of a person is: Vision, Values and Practice. Give a person the ideal vision, and that vision will impact the person’s values and the way he or she lives their lives. 

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