Divine Intimacy § 235

Divine Intimacy § 235 is titled “Infinite Love”.
The following reflection is based upon Father Gabriel’s meditation:

The older one gets, the more one is tempted to look backwards at one’s past.  Although the adage claims that “hindsight is 20/20”, each sinner looks at his past in the same way that he looks at the present moment, and also at the possible futures that lay before him:  that is, with jaundiced, self-serving sight.  That sight may be 20/20, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not colored by self-interest.

Because the way that we as sinners look at the past, present, and future is so oriented by our self-will, it’s easy to overlook love.  For example, if we look at our past through the lens of fear, or regret, or anger, then we will likely overlook the many times and ways in which love was shown to us by God and by our neighbors.  We might even forget the acts of love that we ourselves offered to God in adoration, and to our neighbors in charity.

This is all to say that seeing the presence of love requires not only the faculty of sight, but also the ability to focus.  To focus, to train one’s sight upon love is a skill that has to be developed.  Clearly, God’s grace is our chief aid in honing this skill.

God’s grace helps us to recall the biblical witness that, first, “God is love”[1], and secondly, that “love consists in this:  not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and offered His Son as expiation for our sins.”[2]  Because of the many ways in which sin distorts love, we cannot see the love of God for what it is in all its purity.

Father Gabriel explains that God “does not love [creatures] because there is some good in them which attracts Him, but it is He Himself who, [in the process of] loving them, creates good in them.”  “See, then, how God loves us, with love entirely gratuitous and free, with love supremely pure, with love that is both benevolence and beneficence:  benevolence which desires our good, beneficence which does us good.  By loving us, God calls us to life, He infuses His grace in us, invites us to do good, urges us to be saints, draws us to Himself and gives us a share in His eternal happiness.”

[1] 1 John 4:16.
[2] 1 John 4:10.

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen 001

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