I just feel this strong urge to post today, maybe it will encourage you as well. (which is ALWAYS my desire, Catholic or not, Christian or not!)
I was thinking a lot today about love and its relation to God, as God IS Love. That title, or statement rather, never truly made much sense. Sure God made us and made our emotions to love...that's fine and dandy, but true love is not easy. It is not fun. Love is what is left when all the happy/fluttery emotion has left us. And sometimes our love for another will only bring us blood, sweat, and tears because in Christianity we are commanded to love God first and then our neighbor second.
In my household we are all being tried in this department. There has been one crisis after another and God has been calling us to truly love during this hard time. But the thing is, we don't seem to want to. Now I have been trying to discipline myself in charity (doing good works/being nice, especially when every fiber of us is screaming NO WAY!, for God's pleasure & glory) so it's been easier for me to forgive, throw my own desires last, and just love, but I've noticed how hard my mom is struggling with it. (and for good reason)
I've tried to explain to them how God has called us to this life. Jesus preached this simple message of love and I doubt that most people truly recognize its meaning. Do you know how radical of a teaching this was back then, and still is today? He wanted his followers to love and forgive their neighbors, even the hypocrites and one's own enemies. How dangerous a task that is. My mom has her hang ups right here- if I am called to this, do I not deny my own self worth? And that was what got me seriously thinking...again haha (I know I have posted about this before)
Why would our God call us to love (and thus forgive...seeing as you can't really love someone 100% without forgiveness), despite all obstacles, even when such a command can backfire on us and cause us more pain than we started with?
Because our God knows only love. He doesn't understand our pride, our hate, our selfishness, our desires to hurt one another. He IS love and he made us to love. We do not walk a step, take a breath, bat an eye without God's sustenance and He sustains us because He so desperately loves us. When we come to Him in true repentance, He forgives us no questions asked. Our sin has been expunged forever in His sight because He just wants the barriers keeping us from Him (i.e our sin) to be gone so He can love us even more.
How many times have we sinned the SAME sin over and over and over? Yeah many a time over here lemme tell you! But every time I mess up, I return to God, ask for Him mercy, and am cleansed by His blood. He will never stop forgiving me because He loves me, so how can I, who is called to imitate Christ, refuse to forgive, and thus love, someone else, even when that person has hurt me deeply and repeatedly? Because God does and God is love.
And it is not simply just about forgiveness, but about charity, gentle speech, good works, selflessness, and courage in relation to others. Just look to Jesus for a model...was he ever anything but pure love? Did His lips not speak the truth? How did he conduct himself around others, even those who persecuted him? He was firm in his speech and mission, but he never exuded anything but kindness, forgiveness, charity, and love. And that is because He was in fact the Word made flesh. God's love for us was so deep He had to intercede on our behalf's because, somewhere along the way, we forgot how to love and we built such a divide between each other, and most importantly between us and God, that He was the only one who could mend it. His love, His sacrifice, and His mercy are what sustain us and keep us living day to day. And as our Father, He teaches us to go in the right way, to follow His example.
True religion cannot be man made and I am convinced that Christianity is the only true way to God because Jesus has been the only "person" to preach such a ridiculously hard command. There is nothing harder in this world than to love our neighbor as ourselves. Revenge, war ("holy" or not), hatred, etc is so easy to do...it's so HUMAN. God cannot encompass such qualities because He created us and obviously for a purpose. He knitted us into being with true, pure love so we could love Him back (...just like the Father loves the Son and the Son the Father, generating the Holy Spirit from such a union.)
He never created us for chaos, so take a step back from your life and think about your walk. Are you living love? Are you yet in tune with the One True God who is love and only love? Do you really know what it means to love? And are you loving everyone? Even those who mock your faith, betray your trust, hurt you emotionally, physically, or spiritually? If those people who torment you ask God for forgiveness, He will grant them forgiveness. But what will He say to you on the Day of Judgment if you failed to forgive the sins of others, and consequently failed to place love where there is indeed pain & hatred?
Our souls crave love, and love leads to peace...just imagine if everyone obeyed Jesus' command to love...where would the world be? In perfect harmony, because there cannot be sin or hurt or pain if everyone is practicing pure and simply Love.
God bless always~