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.

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headshot2Rachel 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.

10 Comments

  1. This is a beautiful and thought provoking article! It is well written and really focuses on where our gaze should truly and really be~ on Our Loving Savior and our spouse~ I might add I blow Jesus a kiss when I enter any Catholic Church because He is there waiting and longing for my presence as I long to be there and gaze upon Him!

    By Marlene Lincoln | 2 years ago Reply
  2. So well said! God bless us all to fix our gazes upon His ever filled with Love and Mercy..^_^

    By Christina | 2 years ago Reply
  3. A beautifully written article and insightful especially for my teenage son in which is very much in need of guidance on this issue. My husband and I are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to parenting on chastity. I can use all the backup I can find:)

    By Tanya | 2 years ago Reply
  4. Thank you for this post! I really needed this. True and helpful.

    By Laura Anne | 2 years ago Reply
  5. Such beautiful writing and such truth from such a young soul. God Bless you for sending this out into the world and on your endeavors.

    By Nicole | 2 years ago Reply
  6. The gaze of the lover upon the beloved is actually really powerful. The one who gazes is the one who loves so if you do avoid the gaze, not only do you avoid feeling loved but also you are depriving the gazer of feeling loved as well because the gaze is not reciprocated.

    By Leanne Feliz | 2 years ago Reply
  7. Well done Rachel.

    By Pete Foradori | 2 years ago Reply
  8. “There is no shame in His gaze”:)

    Profound and healing words, Rachel.

    Thanks for the article.

    By LR | 2 years ago Reply
  9. Wow, how lyrical and pointing to Him who sees us as His healing truly does reddems and cleanses us and revealing the lie of ” all that we think we are not, before him” Forever and truly beloved!

    By Tim Wright | 2 years ago Reply
    • Thank you, Rachel! (I remember you from Franciscan!) I love what you have to say about how we tend to perceive ourselves exactly how we fear others may perceive us. We look at what we are instead of who we are. You communicate simple yet profound truths!

      By Louise | 2 years ago Reply

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