The Gaze of the Beloved
Am I seen for what I am, or who I am? Recently, I had a long, conversation with a friend about her relationship with her boyfriend. She was concerned because she felt that he was seeing her as an object rather than an equal.
After pondering this concern more, I realized that we as human beings (but especially women) tend to see ourselves exactly how we wish not to be seen by others. We look in the mirror, and the eyes staring back judge us for what we are (how attractive, beautiful, intellectual etc.) rather than who we are (children made in the image of God).
Ultimately, we crave the gaze of the Beloved.
We crave to be admired. We long to be loved completely and passionately. However, before we will ever be able to truly appreciate the beauty of someone else, we must experience a conversion of beauty by gazing into the eyes of Christ. His gaze heals us. Our wounds, as painful and permanent as they seem, are nothing to be compared Christ’s healing power.
An article entitled, “What’s In A Gaze?” delves into the importance of looking on the face of Christ. It reads, “This gazing upon Christ—and receiving His gaze—changes us, transforms us, bit-by-bit, healing our hearts and enabling us to entrust our lives to Him.” It is in this “double gazing” that we are healed. “Take the time to contemplate the face of Jesus. Get to know Him and listen in your heart to what He wants to say to you today through Sacred Scripture.”
“Look at Me.”
Am I seen for who I am, or what I am? Sadly, I have never been the kind of person who goes to adoration, kneels down, and is just transfixed on Jesus with a look of perfect sereneness. In all honesty, due to my own insecurities, it can be hard to look into the eyes of regular people! During a Eucharistic procession that was part of an adoration night, I felt the Lord telling me to lift my gaze to Him, instead of my usual downward prayer posture. Instead of looking down, or into a mirror with a gaze that dissatisfies you for the thousandth time, look up into the gaze of Christ. Look into the eyes of others, and find Christ in every single person you encounter—in person or online. The countless opportunities the world gives us to lust only offers counterfeit, temporary satisfaction. Hold out for true love so that you can give it and receive it with abandon.
We Long for “The Gaze”
The reason our world is facing an epidemic of pornography “gazing issues” is because it is one of our deepest longings to be gazed on with love. It is important and amazingly freeing to remember that the only person we should fully gaze upon or be gazed by is by Christ and our spouse. It is through gazing on Christ that we will see others through his gaze, and thus know how to gaze on others. Fix your gaze on Christ. There is no shame is His gaze._______________________________________________
Rachel del Guidice is a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville working towards a major in Mass Communications with a concentration in journalism. This year, she is working as the Public Relations director of Franciscan University’s Students for Life club and also writes for The Troubadour, FUS’s student newspaper. She loves God, family, old and new friends and ice cream (in that order!). Connect with her on Twitter at @LRacheldG.