In 2016, Andrew Garfield starred in Martin Scorsese’s film, Silence.
The film, like its book, follows two 17th-century Jesuit priests who
travel from Portugal to Japan to locate their missing mentor and
To prepare for his role, Andrew enlisted an actual Jesuit priest to lead him through a spiritual retreat known as The Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. When interviewed about this experience, Andrew talked about his constant temptation to be producing, to be seen, and to be appreciated. He is tempted to live in the public eye as someone other than who he really is. The Ignatian Exercises helped him discover and contemplate the so-called “hidden life” of Jesus that offers a much more meaningful and rewarding way to live. This led Andrew to journey into the hidden parts of his own life, into his wounds of “not-enough-ness,” as he calls it.
That temptation to always be performing, to hide our own perceived “not-enough-ness,” probably feels familiar to all of us.We put on performances to show how good, how successful, or how important we are. We hide our failures, our insecurities, and our vulnerabilities to live in the public eye as someone other than who we really are. We become actors, imitating what we think the world wants us to be and how we think we ought to be seen.
Today’s text urges us to be imitators of God instead (v. 1). To leave behind a life that alienates us from the life of God. To be renewed by the truth of our Christ-likeness. This is what Richard Rohr calls moving from the false self to the true self. To live securely in our new life in Christ bears fruit and gives life. Each of us is a beloved child of God. We will find our true identity in Christ.
What false sense of self are you wrestling with today? What part of your life most needs the renewing spirit of God’s love?
Loving God, help me today to know that I am truly created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Amen.