Friday, January 7, 2011

1/7/11 - Receiving God's Love

Now it seems to me that, when God has brought someone to a clear knowledge of the world, and of its nature, and of the fact that another world (or, let us say, another kingdom) exists, and that there is a great difference between the one and the other, the one being eternal and the other only a dream; and of what it is to love the Creator and what to love the creature (this must be discovered by experience, for it is a very different matter from merely thinking about it and believing it); when one understands by sight and experience what can be gained by the one practice and lost by the other, and what the Creator is and what the creature, and many other things which the Lord teaches to those who are willing to devote themselves to being taught by Him in prayer, or whom His Majesty wishes to teach—then one loves very differently from those of us who have not advanced thus far.

St. Teresa of Avila.  Way of Perfection.  Chapter 6.  Link:
This is one long sentence that may take a while to read.  If you step through it though, you'll see that God begins to infuse a person greatly with His Love when he has brought a person to the point where he/she knows:
  • Another kingdom definitely exists (ie, the kingdom of heaven), and this kingdom is eternal. 
  • There is a GREAT difference between the eternal kingdom and what one sees in the world
  • Even though the kingdom of heaven is invisible, it is the one that is real.  What we see on earth is "only a dream."
  • Truly loving the Creator is different than "merely thinking about" loving the Creator, or saying you love the Creator
  • One only understands what it means to love the creator by one's OWN experience
According to St. Teresa, when this happens, one begins to love very differently than the sensual, creature-based love that we have on earth.  This process only occurs through God working with a willing soul.  Our job is to turn ourselves over to God and let Him do His thing.