"Why Do I Love You?"
(March 10, 2017)
One morning while at prayer before the tabernacle at St. Mary’s in Rowley, MA, I was prompted to go forward and kneel before beginning my time of formal prayer. It was then that I sensed a question being asked of me: “Why do I love you?” Awed by such a question and struggling with how best to respond I also pondered: “Why is it that God is asking me such a question?”
I knew I could respond by saying that I was loved by God because I was ‘good’, but as Jesus reported only God is truly good, and I knew all too well my many shortcomings (See: Mark 10:18). I could also have responded by saying that I was loved by God as I had accepted the free gift of God (my eternal salvation) through the salvific work of his son Jesus on the cross. Yet, such a response would limit the love of God to only the redeemed, and I knew that in every age God’s transcendent love included all of mankind. After my time of prayer I continued to deliberate on this question throughout the day wondering how to properly respond to such an intimate question posed by a Holy God.
Eventually, this contemplation was fruitful causing me to acknowledge that God’s personal love for me was unremitting, perfect, eternal and infinite. It was, and is, a radical and selfless love. For as the Apostle John writes: “God is love” which is the very essence of God’s divine being. This love is also passionate, offering to each of us the possibility of an intimate and personal relationship with him through the gift of the Holy Spirit (See: 1 John 4: 7-21).
Nor is God's love limited to only the elect. His love encompasses each and every one of his children who currently inhabit, or who in the future shall inhabit this passing world. For those coming to him at death the fire of this love is experienced by them as a consuming good and joy. For those who reject his love, its loss becomes for them a torment.
But, the truth is that God burns with an almost desperate longing to share His intimate being and passionate presence with every one of His children, now, and for all of eternity. Yet, to know this love, its truth must be proclaimed and conversion of one’s soul is essential to its end.
God could ask me about the nature of his love for me in a time of morning prayer knowing that I would work out a response as I was earnestly seeking ‘more’ of him, and further probing the depth of his love for me was the key to greater intimacy with him.
I know God because I have come to know Him, but, he first knew me. I love God because I have come to truly love him, but, he first loved me.
So, the task for those who worship and acknowledge God as good and holy is to lay down their personal crowns of pride, privilege and prerogative, and to make known God's infinite love and goodness by deeds of love, and the proclamation of his wondrous salvation.
Let us not grow weary now; let us not become discouraged now; let us not become distracted now.
What a great work the Lord God has given us. To make his love known, to cause him to be loved by all.