09 June 2006

The Love of God

Ah! how much then ought we to love Him who first so dearly loved us. He loved us before we had any being, for it is because of His divine love that we were born into the world. He loved us when we were yet enemies; for it is because of His divine love and compassion that He sent His Son to redeem us. He loved us when we had fallen into sin; for it is because of His divine love that He does not instantly deliver us over to death, when we transgress against him, but patiently awaits our conversion. It is because of His divine love that above what we deserve, aye, even in very opposition to our just deserts, He is leading us to His heavenly mansions.

Without the love of God never couldst thou come to a saving knowledge of God. Without that love all knowledge would be worthless; nay, more, would be harmful to thee. Why does love exceed the knowledge of all mysteries? Because the latter may be found even in the devil, but the former only in the gody. Why is the devil the most unhappy being? Because he cannot love the Highest Good. Why is God, on the other hand, the most happy and blessed of all beings? Because He loves a things and takes delight in all the works of His own hands....

Love unites and transforms; if thou lovest carnal things, thou art carnal; if thou lovest earthly things, thou shalt become earthly. But flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. If thou lovest God and divine things, thou shalt become divine....

The love of God is the seal of God upon His elect and believing children. God will not acknowledge as His own in the last Judgment, those who are not sealed with this seal. For faith itself, which is the sole means of our justification and salvation, is not genuine unless it shows itself by love (Gal. v:6); it is not true faith unless it be also an unwavering trust, and such trust is not possible without the love of God.

--Johann Gerhard, Sacred Meditation IX

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