A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Deserving God’s Love

Posted on: April 27, 2015

family photo

My mom, my grandmother and me

Ten years ago today, the last of my grandparents passed away. My mother called me early in the morning to give me the sad news so that my husband would be home for me to lean on.

Nanny loved her three grandchildren and thought we were wonderful—not because of how we looked or behaved or what we accomplished, but just because we were her grandchildren. We didn’t have to earn or deserve her love.

Do we realize the same is true of our heavenly Father?

Just as we strive to earn better grades in school, a place on a team or in a play, or a promotion at work, we might tell ourselves that we can serve in more ministries, give more to charity, or pray more to earn or deserve God’s love. But that just isn’t the case.

We can’t make him love us more. And as sinners, we can never do enough to deserve his love. But God loves all his children, whether or not we acknowledge and worship him and do what is pleasing to him. He loves us so much that he gave his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to save us from our sins and lead us to eternal life (see John 3:16-17*).

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, in his book Remade for Happiness, put it like this:

He loves you despite your unworthiness. It is His love that will make you better rather than your betterment that will make Him love you.

If we love God, we’ll want to be better people and answer his call on our lives, which includes showing love to those who dislike or even hate us. And to do this, Bishop Sheen wrote, “we must recall that we who are not worth loving are loved by Love” and never believe ourselves more worthy of his love than others are:

That is just the way Our Lord intended that you should love your enemies: Love them as you love yourself, hating their sin, loving them as sinners; disliking that which blurs the Divine image, liking the Divine image which is beneath the blur; never arrogating to yourself a greater right to God’s love than they, since deep in your own heart you know that no one could be less deserving of His love than you.

On those days when we feel less than loveable or less than loving toward others, I pray that we would remember how much the Father loves us—all of us—and be moved to share that love with others, as Bishop Sheen encouraged us:

Your knowledge will get out of date; your statistics will be old next month; the theories you learned in college are already antiquated. But love never gets out of date. Love, therefore, all things and all persons in God.

(*Scripture reference taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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