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God, the Lover of Life

The Transforming Power of Love

God, the Lover of Life
Friday, November 13, 2020

Love is who you are. When you don’t live according to love, you are outside of being. You’re not being real. When you love, you are acting according to your deepest being, your deepest truth. You are operating according to your dignity. —Richard Rohr

Drawing from my many years of teaching, I can honestly say that the most powerful, most needed, and most essential teaching is always about love. Love is our foundation and our destiny. It is where we come from and where we’re headed. As St. Paul famously says, “So faith, hope, and love remain, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

My hope, whenever I speak or write, is to help clear away the impediments to receiving, allowing, trusting, and participating in a foundational love. God’s love is planted inside each of us as the Holy Spirit who, according to Jesus, “will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (John 14:26). Love is who you are. All I can do is remind you of what you already know deep within your True Self and invite you to live connected to this Source.

The first letter of John reminds us “God is love, and whoever remains in love, remains in God and God in her or him” (1 John 4:16). The creation story in Genesis says that we were created in the very “image and likeness” of God—who is love (Genesis 1:26; see also Genesis 9:6). Out of the Trinity’s generative, loving relationship, creation takes form, mirroring its Creator.

If we are truly created in the “image and likeness of God”—then our family of origin is divine. We were created by a loving God to be love in the world. Our core is original blessing, not original sin. Our starting point is positive and, as it is written in the first chapter of the Bible, it is “very good” (Genesis 1:31). We do have a good place to go home. If the beginning is right, the rest is made considerably easier, because we know and can trust the clear direction of our life’s tangent.

We must all overcome the illusion of separateness. It is the primary task of religion to communicate not worthiness but union, to reconnect people to their original identity “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). God’s job description is to draw us back into primal and intimate relationship.

May we pray together:

God, lover of life, lover of these lives,
God, lover of our souls, lover of our bodies, lover of all that exists . . .
In fact, it is your love that keeps it all alive . . .
May we live in this love.
May we never doubt this love.
May we know that we are love,
That we were created for love,
That we are a reflection of you,
That you love yourself in us and therefore we are perfectly lovable.

May we never doubt this deep and abiding and perfect goodness.

We are because you are.

References:
Adapted from Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, ed. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018), v, 12–13; and

Healing Our Violence through the Journey of Centering Prayer, disc 4 (Franciscan Media: 2002), CD.

Image credit: Woman and Child (Silence) (detail), Jean-Francois Millet, 1855, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: This faith, this love, this Holy Mystery—of which we are only a small part—can only be awakened and absorbed by the silent gaze of prayer. —Richard Rohr
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