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- In Praise of Love

- Longing for Love


You Are Loved

completely … endlessly… unconditionally…

In some of the most poetic and descriptive spiritual writing of all, God is portrayed as a Divine Lover. That may be surprising at first, and maybe a bit uncomfortable, yet  think of the passion that consumes both our thoughts and hearts when we fall in love. Could it be that that feeling hints at the yearning that God feels for us every day, no matter what. 

We offer below some thoughts about the enormity and constancy of God's ever-present love. We are, each one of us,  beloved—surrounded by an adoring God who never leaves our side. When  we open ourselves to being loved, we change inside; God's love completes us, filling the gaps in our hearts and allowing our mended selves to more fully love God and each other. 

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.  —Psalm 36:5

Small hand held in bigger one

For just a moment think of the difference in your life if you knew that at the deepest level of your being that God is besotted with you, that God yearns for you, yearns that you turn and be in relationship with God as the beloved of God.

—Marcus Borg
The Character of God

When Love is in me,
I am one with Love. 
God Hunger

Say to yourself, "I am loved by God more than I can either conceive or understand." Let this fill all your soul and all your prayer and never leave you. You will soon see that this is the way to find God. 
—Abbé de Tourville
Letters of Direction

Where is silence? Where is solitude? Where is Love?

Ultimately these cannot be found anywhere except in the ground of our own being. There, in the silent depths, there is no more distinction between the I and the Not-I. There is the perfect peace, because we are grounded in infinite creative and redemptive Love. There we encounter God, whom no eye can see, and in Whom as St. Paul says, "we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28) 
—Thomas Merton 
"Love and  Solitude"
Thomas Merton Essential Writings

Candy hearts say I love you
The truth that God is love is not obvious, but it means the creative power in the universe is love. That means the healing power in the universe is love. That means the strongest force in the universe is love. That means the motive of all our actions that will be effective for healing and building a just community will be love.
The Very Rev. Ward Ewing

 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
—Isaiah 54:10

My friend, you may be a person today who is lonelier than you can tell anybody. You may feel so much loss that the notion that you are a child of God is simply not possible. But the one that John talked about—the one that John said would come among us—this one named Jesus—cried out in his last hour, "My God! Why have you forsaken me?" Whatever lonely place you are in today—whatever forsakenness you may feel—it cannot be any deeper than where Jesus has already gone himself. Jesus comes to sit beside you today on that bench to say, "You are my beloved child."
Barbara K. Lundblad

Be modest now, like a thing
Ripened until it is real,
So that he who began it all
Can feel you when he reaches for you.

—Ranier Maria Rilke 
Rilke’s Book of Hours 

In saying farewell to his friends, Jesus said they would "abide" in his love. Life would separate their courses, but they would remain in each other. Whatever began in their brief time together would continue to join them, changed but steadfast. Jesus knew their fears, he knew his talk of departure was disturbing.... But they had an experience of oneness they could rely on. That’s the message of Easter to our world. We have relationships not founded on passing hopes, but on never-failing love.
George Yandell

The daily mail can be the bearer of good news. Like when that colorful, slick envelope arrives in your mailbox with the bold print: Open Immediately! And when you open it you read the startling announcement that You Are Pre-Approved! Pre-approved by some bank in Seattle or Chicago or Philadelphia. Thus, everything is all ready for your order and you can begin using their Platinum Plus credit card. I'm always bemused and slightly bewildered at my "pre-approval." How does that happen?

Why, it is enough to carry us to the Gospel. There, in the Good News of the Scriptures, you open the holy mail to discover that you are PRE-APPROVED by God. Just as you are, you are God's beloved kid. Just as you are, you are accepted, embraced, adored by the Holy One who is the holy audience for your life. It's amazing! Yep, amazing grace!
Douglass Bailey

Hope does not disappoint us,
because God's love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
—Romans 5:5

Bride and groomSo we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
—1 John 4:16

The confession of John the apostle that God is love is the fundamental meaning of the holy and adorable Trinity. Put bluntly, God is sheer Being-in-Love and there was never a time when God was not love.The foundation of the furious longing of God is the Father who is the originating Lover, the Son who is the full self-expression of that Love, and the Spirit who is the original and inexhaustible activity of that Love, drawing the created universe into itself.
—Brennan Manning
The Furious Longing of God

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
—Romans 8:38

According to John, Jesus wants to share "his generous bounty" with each of us. He desires to give us gift after gift of love and care and insight and challenge. What keeps us from truly experiencing that? Perhaps the key is right before us: his bounty is an "exuberant giving and receiving" of holy love. It's not just unidirectional. It calls us to give and serve in love, so we may in turn receive love. Endlessly.
—Peter Wallace
Living Loved: Knowing Jesus as the Lover of your Soul


If I call not thee in my prayers, if I keep not thee in my heart,
thy love for me still waits for my love.
—Rabindranath Tagore,

 Child on father's shouldersSo why does Jesus focus so narrowly on Abba as the name for God? God may be YHWH, but that sacred name evokes mystery; YHWH may be King, but that term evokes distance. From a long list of names, Jesus chooses Abba. What Jesus wants to evoke with the name Abba is God's unconditional, unlimited , and unwavering love for his people. In this name for God we are standing face-to-face with the very premise of spiritual formation:God loves us and we are his children.
—Scot McKnight
The Jesus Creed


God's will in heaven is nothing other than an invitation into an embrace of love. Joy in the form of love, healing in the form of love, faith in the form of love. God's will in heaven is love. God's will on earth is Love. Love is God's very nature. Scripture tells us there is no higher gift than love. God took on human flesh for love. God restores all of creation in love. 
—Renée Miller,
"Your Will Be Done"

For the love of God is broader than the measure of the mind;
and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.
—Frederick William Faber
"There is a Wideness in God's mercy"
The Hymnal 1982

Our very existence grows out of the vision that God is ultimately pure generosity and One whose intention is to bless. The deepest truth is that there is nothing we can do to make God love us more than God already loves us and nothing we can do to make God stop loving us. The One who is behind all things is nothing but love, always has been and always will be. 
—John Claypool
God the Ingenious Alchemist