"As Jesus' unparalleled authenticity and inner serenity were rooted in his Father's good pleasure, so Christian self-acceptance is rooted in the conscious and experiential affirmation of Jesus in our struggle to be faithful.

"A fellow Franciscan once challenged me with a set of questions:

"Do you ever reflect upon the fact that Jesus feels proud of you? Proud that you have accepted the faith which he offered you? Proud that after he chose you, you chose him for a friend and Lord? Proud that you haven't given up? Proud that you believe in him enough to try again and again? Proud that you can trust that he can help you? Do you ever think that Jesus appreciates you for wanting him, for wanting to say no to so many things that would separate you from him? Do you ever think that Jesus is grateful to you for pausing to smile and comfort one of his children who has a great need to see a smile, to feel a touch? Do you ever think of Jesus as being grateful to you for learning more about him so that you can speak to others more deeply and truly about him? Do you ever think that Jesus can be angry or disappointed in you for not believing that he has forgiven you totally?

"Jesus said, 'I do not call you servants, but friends. . . . ' Therefore, there is the possibility of every feeling and emotion which can exist between friends to exist here and now between you and Jesus."