In his inspiring book, ‘How to Be Happy, How to Be Holy,’ Fr. Paul O’Sullivan writes the following:
‘Why Should We Love God?’
Here are nine reasons:
God is infinitely good and loveable. Were we to see Him for one moment, our hearts would burn with love for Him and we should fly to Him.
It is the sight of God’s beauty and love and mercy that fills Heaven with happiness. This is the God that we are asked to love.
If the devil could see God for one instant, his being would be so filled with happiness that he could never suffer again.
God made us with infinite love.
God died the awful death of Cavalry for the love of us.
God made our hearts expressly and solely to love Him, and they can never be happy if they do not love Him.
The smallest act of love will have an eternal reward.
The greatest works a man can do, if they are not done for the love of God, are worth nothing.
The heart of man that was made for God can never find rest or find peace or be happy if it does not love God.
This, then, is the grace we must ask Our Lady in the Fifth Joyful Mystery (of the Rosary): to find God, to know God and to love God.
Commenting on the Scripture, “To those who love God, all things work together unto good” (Rom. 8:28), St. Alphonsus says something very profound: “Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfill, even in adversity, the will of God. Afflictions do not mar their serenity, because by accepting misofrtune, they know they give pleasure to their beloved Lord: ‘Whatever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad.'”
There is a beautiful story of a religious Sister from the same convent as St. Gertrude. She was deeply touched by the way St. Gertrude brought out the words, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart…”. Jesus said (to this Sister): “From her childhood I have carried her in My arms, keeping her soul pure until she gave herself to Me with her whole will. Then I gave Myself entirely to her, putting Myself in return into her arms. This is why the great love she bears Me draws Me towards her ; and, as wax melts before the fire, so does My Heart melt with the ardour of her love and pass, drop by drop, into her soul. In her I take so much pleasure that often, when I am offended by others, I come to her for rest and comfort by afflicting her with some suffering of mind or body. This she accepts in union with My Passion, with so much gratitude, bearing it with such patience and humility, that My anger and sorrow are appeased and, for her sake, I pardon innumerable sinners.”
Our lives will be transformed if all our actions and prayers are guided towards one end: to love God’s will above all things. He will surely give us the grace to carry our cross with love and joy; the cross is necessary for growing in love, humility, compassion, faith. None of our sufferings are wasted when they are accepted with love, and for Love. On the contrary, every cross we accept from God’s loving Providence will be met with a reward in eternity (remember, we can only merit if we possess sanctifying grace), and it can be used to save souls, thus giving glory and joy to God, and filling the angels and saints with raptures of joy and love! “If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross, which Christ used for His own great sacrifice of boundless charity.” – St. Ignatius Loyola