Love of God
Have you ever been asked: do you love God? Whatever we think, let us say that we do love God to some extent. Do not be afraid to say it. The first step to that love is faith. Faith opens the gate to another world, the world of God’s presence, tenderness, love, call to mission. It is through faith that our relationship with God is established. Love is also a relationship but deeper than faith, as it is the continuation and fulfilment of faith and hope. In this light, in faith, we receive the Lord in Holy Communion. But in love, we receive Him in a way that even our whole being stands in awe.
However, our love is not marked by the same intensity and willingness, the same recognition of where is God and how to act to make Him happy. Interestingly enough, God’s calling is very individual and it is expressed in the sanctuary of our conscience in a very sublime way. It is not a pushing voice, as God highly respects the freedom of our hearts.
Our love of God is often impure, marked by our goals, agendas, visions and tendency to push our will. Indeed, even in the loving relationship with our neighbour, it is common that we do not listen, we want to force our will. It is a bigger problem when we are talking about building a relationship with God. Actually, the purity of love is necessary to grow in our love of God. The Purity of love is preceded by some events called purifications. At the beginning of that process our hearts are like one big stone. In the middle of the process, they are like broken stones, and later on they are like a selection of pebbles ready to be used for various purposes. At the end of the process, our hearts have become like a powder, flexible and open, reconciled with the world and transparent to God.
St John the Baptist loved God with a pure heart. He did not have any other goals and agendas in his life except to point out where the Lord was. He was not afraid of losing his disciples. He was neither afraid of stepping down from his role as prophet and authority, nor was he afraid of being forgotten, humiliated or killed. On the contrary, his joy was great when people, particularly his disciples, recognised Christ, when they became attached to Christ and followed Christ.
As a result of his purity of heart and purity of intentions, his passion towards his mission as a prophet was powerful. It led St Andrew to follow Jesus Christ, and indirectly, it led St Peter to do the same. It did not matter that Peter knew nothing about it. The matter was, that John became united in his love with Christ.