We are to love ourselves. Not in order to be selfish or self-willed, but because God has created us in His own image. We are the temple of the Most High and the spirit of God resides in our self. We have to take care of ourselves and nourish the temple. At the same time we must deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow Jesus. This is in the fleshly desires that war against the spirit. We are not to be self-willed, we are to be like Jesus, who said, "I can of my own self do nothing, as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of the Father which has sent me." Sanctify yourself, consecrate yourself, humble yourself, yeild yourself unto the Lord and submit yourselves to others as servants.

It is in this self denial that we truly love ourselves. Does that make sense? Is it selfish to desire the good things from God? Are we being self-willed if we want eternal life and go to Heaven? If we were to truly hate ourselves, we might as well just jump into hell right now and commit suicide. No! It is not wrong to love yourself but rather love yourself by putting away the fleshly desires and desiring to do good. Jesus told us that "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me." Present yourselves as a living sacrifice, If you can truly have love for the very person that God has chosen you to be, you can have the maturity to know that God loves you the way you are and you can now have the freedom to know that you can love others as He loves them also. And you can have the wisdom to make of yourself a better person and be an example to others.

Saint Francis was an ascetic and denied the body in order to deny the self. We all love Saint Francis but he needed to love himself more. Late in life as he grew sicker, he would lament this ascetic nature of his and wished he had taken better care of brother body.

Kierkegaard: "The self, by relating itself to its own self and by willing to be itself is grounded transparently in the Power which constituted it. And this is the definition of faith. Man is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation which relates itself to its own self. Man is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity... However, a self, every instant it exists, is in process of becoming. In so far as the self does not become itself, it is not its own self; but not to be one's own self is despair. A Self which has no possibility is in despair, and so in turn is the self which has no necessity."
[134, John 5:30]

The Lord has given Christians the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers

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