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LoveGod

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o o Bernard of Clairvaux: OnLovingGod ActOfLove
o SelfHelp Suffering/Obedience Disobedience "Compassion" Judgement/"Diversity" Witnessing
Dynamics

o God's love for us
We are caught in a cycle of sin. Try as we might, we can't break free. Not on our own... God has not abandoned us, because God is love. He loves the world he made, and he loves us, broken though we are... Jesus opened the way for us to have eternal life... For Jesus, the way was a costly one... Jesus was willing to suffer and die for us because his death would enable us to escape from our sins and to live with God forever... He offered his life as an act of love for us... God respects our freedom to choose... Will you choose to embrace God's love (even through the carrying of your own cross), to receive his forgiveness and healing, and to live as he made you to live--the only way you can be truly happy?... Build your relationship with God. Think about how much he loves you and what he would want you to do in different situations. Talk to him every day through prayer. Tell him what is in your heart and how much you appreciate the good things he has given you... Tell others how God has blessed your life. Let them know how much he loves them and wants to bless them, too.

o Falling in love with God
The greatest gesture of love known to the universe was made toward each of us by the Author of True Love. We are not simply liked and enjoyed; we are passionately, deeply, obsessively loved!... We need to take a good, long look with fresh eyes at the Lover of our souls and internalize the high price He paid for the chance to be reunited with us... Unadulterated passion and pure, ambitious love are not presented to us in flowers and sunsets, but in straw, wood, nails and blood... We have become deadened to the meaning of real love. Love gives. Love is not self-seeking. Love cannot keep anything for itself... We must make a concerted effort to dwell on this crazy, extravagant love of God until it captures us again in the flush of romance... We need the kind of passion that turns us into willing fools, people who couldn't care less what the world thinks of us. I want the kind of passion and love for Christ that is oblivious to everything but Him... I’m being wooed, and the more I attend to His affection, the more this romance grows, and the more my heart longs only for Jesus... The heart in love with Jesus has no room for compromise or deception, since it only desires more of Jesus... Affective prayer, (the prayer of pure loving, intentionally adopting a disposition of ardent love of God; which power resides only in the will,) is by far the most effective means to attain union with God!

o How do we fall in love with God? (Schoenstatt spirituality)
How do we fall in love with a God we cannot see? And how can our love be so strong that it shows in a way that can impact the world around us?... All our waking thoughts, our unconscious/subconscious soul life should be filled with God, God, God who is goodness, and love... We draw our children, but also ourselves, into the supernatural world with all of our senses... In your home shrine or place of prayer, (spend some time) to focus solely on loving the Redeemer & his Mother... We need to “see” God to fall in love with him.

o Love God by loving others
Definition of love is that you want the absolute best for someone... That would be eternal happiness in heaven with Jesus Christ. And Jesus showed us all that love requires personal sacrifice on our part for that to happen, whether it’s by martyrdom, monetary sacrifice, time sacrifice, prayer sacrifice, or the sacrifice of just being there for someone when you would rather be elsewhere... "For I was hungry and you gave me food"... Building up the Kingdom of God consists of doing the will of God, which is taking care of the poor and boldly proclaiming His gospel... Love is all about self - sacrifice, and that includes a lot of times when the person we are self-sacrificing for could care less about our self-sacrifice for them,... valuing the things of the next world infinitely more than the things of this world, and that heartfelt prayer to God is what love is all about.

o Loving God as in marriage
Even in the best of marriages, as the hard work of loving in all things combines with the dullness of routine, the romance quotient often diminishes even while the love quotient (frequently unknown to ourselves) continues to grow. So romantic feelings may arise elsewhere, in reality or in imagination [distraction]... Through years of challenge and trial, God has shared my life and permitted me to share His. Through prayer and sacrament I have both worked toward and received the incomparable gifts of this union... It is now, not I who live, but Jesus Christ who lives in me... My Beloved has chosen me, and I have chosen to return His love. And if I also choose to resist some temptation or do some good thing, it is in the end most definitely because I know I have already chosen the better part.

o Actual love for God
“I hear people talking about how much they love God, and I just don’t feel that, so I’m never going to be like the saints.”... Such despondency means that he already loves God, he just doesn't feel it; that he is mistaking emotion for love... [Emotion] should never be the basis of our union with Him, for emotions are unfixed, and can change from love to anger when life goes astray... Meditate: how would you feel toward Christ if you were the forgiven sinner or the healed paralytic? Speak to Him as though you were... Contemplate God’s attributes... Contemplate with thankfulness all that Christ suffered for you... Contemplate with thankfulness all the good in your life, all of which flows from Him since He is the source of all goodness... Contemplate the struggles you have overcome with His unseen grace and by His helps, seen (in help from those around you) and unseen (your inner strength and wisdom which come from Him)... Read the lives of the saints who show you how love of God can transform you... Love for God is less one of emotion than it is of admiration, thankfulness and the desire to please by close imitation (in which I fail so often!). Emotion is not excluded from loving God, but it is not its essence.

o Prayer
God, my Father, may I love You in all things and above all things. May I reach the joy which You have prepared for me in Heaven. Nothing is good that is against Your Will, and all that is good comes from Your Hand. Place in my heart a desire to please You and fill my mind with thoughts of Your Love, so that I may grow in Your Wisdom and enjoy Your Peace... this first response lasts but an instant, nipped in the very bud of thought by the recollection that I am exceedingly foolish, and more, that I am an old fool, and even more than this, that I am an old fool who—by some mysterious and utterly undeserved alignment of the whole universe—is very much in love... I have freely chosen this love, that it is more important to me than anything else on earth, that everything else on earth pales in its comparison, and that I simply refuse to indulge this temptation because I have already chosen the better part.