Recently the readings at Mass have had the heavy theme of warning us about death, judgment, heaven and hell. But of course these warnings are given by a God who loves us and wants to save us.
Whatever the reason that perhaps at times we don’t feel very lovable, consider this:
- Before you were ever formed in you mother’s womb God knew you and loved you (Jer. 1:4)
- God knit you together in your mother’s womb (Ps 139:13)
- You are fearfully wonderfully made (Ps 139:14)
- Every one of your days and deeds were written in God’s book before one of them ever came to be. (Ps. 139:16)
So God knew you and planned for you. You cannot earn his love you already have it. In fact you had it before you were born, before you had done anything. As for your sins God knew all about them too.
Sin does not cancel God’s love but it does limit and ultimately sever our acceptance of that love. “Ah but what about Hell?” you might say. Yes as we have seen recently, a great tragedy, but do you suppose that God’s love does not extend there also? After all God does not destroy the souls in hell. He still sustains and provides for them. He loves them still. It is they who do not love him or His kingdom and he will not force it on them. But at least consider this fact that God does not annihilate them. I once had a reader write and tell me that God was cruel for not killing the souls in hell and putting them out of their misery. But their objection points to two common oddities of the modern era:
1. That death is therapy, or escape. It is an odd modern notion, rooted in our obsession with comfort I suspect, that to not exist is preferable that existing. Yet, the desire to survive is common to all living things, except it would seem, certain post-modern men.
2. A second modern confusion is that the freedom to choose ought to be free of any real responsibilities or results. This immature conclusion is common to teenagers, but not to adults who ought to accept that the freedom to choose brings both responsibility and consequences that we ought to accept if we want to claim to be free and mature.
And thus, whatever objections we want to raise about God’s love, they are more about us and our distorted notions of love, than about God.
So face it God loves you, he even likes you. He does not love you because you deserve it. He loves you for “no good reason.” His love cannot be explained in any human terms. He loves you simply because he does, because he is Love. If you have never experienced this love, get on your knees and ask for this necessary gift.
Maybe these videos will help. The first one is a beautiful musical reflection by Don Francisco “I’ll Never Let Go of Your Hand” (available at iTunes). The Second one I have posted before about a young firefighter who powerfully experiences the unmerited love that God has for him.