The Case for Loving God (Part I of Infinity)

There’s so much to say about God’s love for us–so much that it could never all be said!

But what about our love for God? What could we say about that?
More specifically, why should we love God?

First of all, because we belong to Him. We owe Him everything we are and all that we have. He created us. He gave us life. Then He ransomed each of us with His own blood. We are His.

But a second reason is that we are happier when we love Him. He created us so that there is a part of each of us–the most important part, the part that informs and animates all the others–that has loving Him and being close to Him as its purpose.1

He embedded in each of us a part that is made just for Him–just to seek Him, find Him, and stay near Him. Because of that, we can never really be fully alive–or fully ourselves –unless we are close to Him, united with Him, and filled with His life.

Maybe that’s why St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in You.” We crave union with Him until we find it.

Another point in the case for loving God is this: Think back over your life. Who is the most forgiving person you have known? Who was the person whom you always knew would still love you and forgive you, no matter what you had done wrong? (If you’ve never known someone like this, the Lord is waiting to pour out His mercy for you.)

The thing is–this is real mercy–the desire to forgive and relieve your suffering. Not just a grudging, “Whatever” when you apologize, not an irritated “OK” when you come to the person and say you’re sorry, but that enthusiastic forgiving response that lets you know that the person was really eager to forgive you. Some people are like that–they just love to forgive and have everything be OK again between you. They want to take the weight of your sins off of your shoulders. They love to show mercy.

And, if you took the most merciful person in the world–that person who always, always forgives enthusiastically and is happy to do it–and made all of their mercy one tiny drop of water, God’s mercy for our worst sins would look like an ocean.

In fact, that’s one analogy  the “Divine Mercy Saint”, Faustina, uses to tell us about God’s mercy–that it’s like an ocean. And that analogy is rooted in Christ. In her diary, she records Jesus’ words to her, including these (from entry #1059):

“I desire trust from my creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in my fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of my mercy.”*

Then, a while later in the same diary, she reminds us of God’s desire to forgive His creatures with this quote from Christ:

“My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the Cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart….You will give me pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and griefs.”* (from #1485; emphasis mine)

See? He wants to forgive us. He wants to forgive us so much that it actually gives Him pleasure to do so! That’s because mercy is His greatest attribute. Did you get that? God’s love for us is immense, unfathomable, but His Mercy is His greatest attribute.2 So–how can we NOT love someone who is eagerly waiting for us to come to Him and talk about the very worst things we’ve ever done, just so He can wipe our slates clean and give us a fresh start? How can we not to love someone that we were created to love?

Loving God pleases Him, but it’s a critical element of our happiness, too. We owe Him everything we are and all that we have–our very lives–and something inside each of us senses that and is more on-key–in a word, happier–when we’re doing all we can to live that truth and give Him our hearts.

* Quotes from the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska used with permission of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Stockbridge, MA USA.

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  1. Catechism of the Catholic Church, #364-366 []
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