God is love, but Love is not God

The word “Love” is perhaps the most abused word and I find that I should make a few notes:

  • “Love” has many different meanings (to dive deeper, see Deus Caritas Est [“God is Love”] and Caritas in Veritate [“Charity in Truth”])
  • Very often I talk about “Love” and “God” so much and I notice there may be a tendency to sometimes love the idea of “Love” [i.e. “God”] than the person of “Love” [i.e. Jesus]
  • God does [through Jesus] come down to our level [and it is good], but we have to remember and give respect to God by trying to rise up to Him (we need a deeper sense of transcendence):
    • Don’t dehumanize Jesus by stealing his teaching and philosophy (e.g. new age religion, “neo-paganism”), but not have a real relationship with the person of Jesus (Christianity is not primarily about ethics)
    • One can’t experience the divine without going deeply into Jesus as a human; scripture is one definite place where you can learn about the person of Jesus – you can’t love what you don’t know
    • Too often it seems we implicitly have a narcissistic attitude (“What’s in it for me?”) and design our lives accordingly. We can tend to control and design our own idea of God instead of having a relationship with God (e.g. lack of prayer); often in prayer we need to remain silent, at least for us to connect our heart to God:
      • God does not need prayer, it is we who need to pray to God (of course God wants us to pray, to love him, to give him time, to be grateful, to make him part of our lives)
      • In prayer, let the power of God take hold of you, don’t always try to rationalize
      • We by ourselves probably are of little effect, yet it seems the power of prayer in part is because God praying through us

If you are wondering where some of this content is coming from, these are some notes [combined with my own] from attending a retreat with Father Antoninus Wall O.P. (short bio). Other perhaps lesser-known facts: (1) Pope John Paul (now saint) was his peer/classmate when they were studying in Rome. (2) his stories are amazing e.g. teaching to Mother Teresa’s congregation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *