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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Forgetting About God's Love

I've been going through a long period of spiritual dryness, struggling in prayer and still trying to wade through my days at work. Certainly I have continued to pray, especially the rosary (some days that's all I could really manage), and work in the Lord's vineyard.

Perhaps a side-effect of working within the Church is "being there" for others, preaching about how God loves them, struggling to love others even in their worst moments, and, well, this kind of thing takes a toll.

Today at Mass I received the answer to what has been ailing me. The homily was about Eucharistic Adoration, and because of work, of late I've missed mine a great deal. But this priest, this blessed priest of God gave me a huge reminder as to why we go to Adoration:  because God loves us.

I sat back in my pew, astonished that I'd forgotten such a simple, basic thing. I've been, in my spiritual life, focusing on how I have to love God, and I do love him, and want to love him more. As I listened and pondered and took the priest's words to heart, I realized that in all that loving, all that work, I wasn't at all praying about how God loves me.

This is something I've often struggled with; I've written of it before. But somehow, in the last several stressful months, I forgot that I'm not the one who's supposed to be doing all the "acting". That's God's job. For me to be effective in my work, for my prayer life to bear fruit, to even have a "life", it starts with God's love...for me.

All of us learn to love because we have first experienced love.  John Paul II, in Redemptor hominis, as well as in many other writings, pointed out time and time again, "Man cannot live without love."  Indeed. Everything we are, everything we have, comes from God's love, His very Goodness. If we are to love, we first must know His love. If we do not realize we are loved by God, how can we possibly carry love to others?

We can't. It's as simple as that.

So my advice to you, if you are struggling in prayer as I have been, take some time away from your regular meditations and just BE in God's presence, rest there, and ask Him to reveal to you how much He loves you.  Let him love you for awhile, so that you can learn to love Him more perfectly.