The Hope of My Life: “God-Love”

If you go to the very heart of what God has revealed of himself to us, looking at the central theme of Holy Scripture and Christian faith, you will very soon discover what is patently clear–God has revealed himself to us as love.

Unknown-1The apostle John writes: “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8, NRSV) and “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them” (1 John 4:16, NRSV).

The late Chiara Lubich has so powerfully influenced my journey into the love of God. With this influence she has helped to shape the book I am now writing titled: Our Love Is Too Small. Chiara gave her life to understanding and living this holy love like few people I have read and followed in recent years. As I have read her work over the last two-plus years I have come to believe that her experience of this love is the one thing most lacking in our time. Further, when we come to the Christian revelation, or holy mystery, through this love, which she rightly called “God-love,” we truly restore our vision to the place where God desires for us to live in these dark times.

Chiara said that this kind of spirituality “is the gospel.” How can anyone disagree? The entire Christian mystery can rightly be understood from this perspective of “God-love.” Indeed, mystery, rightly understood, is what we must experience if we are to come into a deeper and deeper awareness of God’s love, God-love.

The great Orthodox theologian, Paul Evdokimov, succinctly grasped this point when he wrote: “Theology is the mysticism and the mystical life is theological and more than that, it is the apex of theology, theology par excellence.”

I begin 2014, in just a few days, more committed to theology than I have ever been in my entire life. But I am no longer interested in speculative theological debate or systems that are used to argue other Christians under the table. I am interested in the marrow of divine truth, the truth which reveals who God is–the God who loves as– because, as Chiara said, he is “God-love.” I am fully aware of all the misuses of the idea of God-love but such misuses, especially in this case, only underscore that the truth will always lead some people to adopt extremes that deny the God who is revealed to us in Jesus Christ as pure and perfect love.

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