Sunday, 17 August 2014

Divine Love

I have just read the very interesting post by Bones, concerning some of the recent celebrity 'comings out'. I urge you to read this post, which eloquently addresses the currently fashionable cliché that 'God loves me just as I am'.
I will not serve, because God will love me just as I am - sure about that???

Of course God loves us. It is through His Divine Love that we have our existence: while sufficient in Himself, He wished to share that abounding love that exists within the Blessed Trinity, and so He brought into being others whom He could love, first spiritual beings, the angels, and latterly the physical Universe, eventually giving rise to beings, ourselves, intelligent enough and capable of supporting an immortal soul, with all the gifts of God, including especially Free Will, for we cannot love truly unless that love is freely given, and so we must also have the option of rejecting the love God offers. We know that some of the Angels did this, and that humans also do - I was going to say 'many humans' but at least small ways, we all do this, it's called sin.

God loves us, but wants us to receive all His love, to grow in our love for Him, and to be perfect. While He recognise that we are frail humans, and prone to weakness and temptation, and is aware of our faults, He doesn't just accept these but wants us to overcome them, to touch our wisdom and understanding and impart His grace, and would like us to conform our wills to His, as He knows this is what is best for us. He does not love us 'just as we are': He recognises where we are, and, in love, wants us to become better.

Ven. Fulton Sheen - Ora pro nobis
I recall the Venerable Fulton Sheen giving an example of this in one of his talks to young people, drawing and analogy between what God does and what our parents do. The example he uses is parents 'potty training' their children. If they let their babies be 'just as they are' then, when these children grew up they would be social outcasts and would end up hating their parents because they did not give them even the most basic guidance as to what is acceptable to do. More subtly, we learn (hopefully) from our parents morality, manners, and ways in which to nurture our own talents for our own benefit and that of our neighbour. Somewhat more rewarding than being in nappies when you're forty, methinks.
Who cares if I still haven't worked this out when I'm 40 - everyone will love m just as I am - SURE!

And so it is with God, he loves us, but wants us to grow and develop, to become better people, so that we can achieve perfection ultimately (albeit often through the fires of Purgatory and the prayers of others) which is a requisite to enjoy our eternal reward with Him. Just as parents don't stop loving a child when he is naughty, but instead try to encourage him to do better next time, so Our Lord recognises our frailty, and, when we sin, wants us to return to Him and do better in the future.

Kyrie eleison,
Christe eleison,
Kyrie eleison.

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