A Prayer for God Seekers

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O Lord our God,
grant us grace to desire thee
with our whole heart; that,
so desiring, we may seek,
and seeking find thee;
and so finding thee
may love thee; and loving thee,
may hate those sins from
which thou has redeemed.
Amen.
–Anselm of Canterbury,
(1033-1109)

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Finding God

5ebd1769bf115773ad83803b29ea4bacOnly in love can I find you, my God. In love the gates of my soul spring open, allowing me to breathe a new air of freedom and forget my own petty self. In love my whole being streams forth out of the rigid confines of narrowness and anxious self-assertion, which make me a prisoner of my own poverty emptiness. In love all the powers of my soul flow out toward you, wanting never more to return, but to lose themselves completely in you, since by your love you are the inmost center of my heart, closer to me than I am to myself.  –Karl Rahner

Baseball, Heaven and Hell

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The self is like a baseball. Throw it back to the divine pitcher who pitched it to you in the first place, and the game of love goes on. Hold it, and the game is over. That is the difference between Heaven and Hell.

—Peter Kreeft,
The God Who Loves You

Published in: on 01/15/2016 at 17:28  Leave a Comment  
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The first lesson

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No man loves God
except the man
who has first learned
that God loves him.

–Alexander MacLaren
(1826 – 1910)

Knowing God

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We do not know God
by defining him
but by being loved by him
and loving in return.

–Eugene Peterson

Remembering God

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The first great commandment requires us to love God, which we do best through our awareness of his great love for us. Thomas Merton remarks, “The ‘remembering’ of God, of which we sing in the Psalms, is simply the discovery, in deep compunction of heart, that God remembers us.”

We remember God best by believing that we matter, personally and infinitely, to him. I must ask again and again for the faith to believe that God delights in me and desires to relate to me. For that reason as much as any, I study the Bible: not merely to master a work of great literature or to learn theology, but to let soak into my soul the inescapable message of God’s love and personal concern.

–Philip Yancey
Reaching for the Invisible God

It is a promise

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The final secret, I think, is this: that the words “You shall love the Lord your God” become in the end less a command than a promise. And the promise is that, yes, on the weary feet of faith and the fragile wings of hope, we will come to love him at last as from the first he has loved us–loved us even in the wilderness, especially in the wilderness, because he has been in the wilderness with us. He has been in the wilderness for us. He has been acquainted with our grief.

–Frederick Buechner
A Room Called Remember

Life is rooted in love

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Love seeks no cause beyond itself and no fruit. It is its own fruit, its own enjoyment. I love because I love; I love that I may love. Love is a great thing provided it recurs to its beginning, returns to its origin, and draws always from that Fountain which is perpetually in flood.

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Of all the feelings and affections of the soul, love is the only one by which the creature, though not on equal terms, is able to respond to the Creator and to repay what it has received from Him. For when God loves us He desires nothing but to be loved. He loves for no other reason, indeed, than that He may be loved, knowing that by their love itself those who love Him are blessed.

–Bernard of Clairvaux
(1091 – 1153)

His undivided attention

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How often have we been told that it is important that we love God.  And this is true.  But is it far more important that God loves us!  Our love for God is secondary.  God’s love for us is first:  “This is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God’s love for us” (1 John 4:10).  This is the foundation…

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“We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves” (1 John 4:16).  This is the content of our faith–“God’s love towards ourselves.”  The whole Apostles’ Creed is nothing but a statement twelve times over of belief in this very love which God has for us…

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God does not measure love.  God cannot but love totally–100%.  If we think God is a person who can divide his love, then we are thinking not of God but of ourselves.  God is perfectly one, the perfect unity.  We have love, but God is love.  His love is not an activity.  It is his whole self.  If we but grasp some idea of this, we understand that God could not possibly give 100% of his love to his Son and then 70% to us.  He would not be God if he could do that.  When we read the dialogues of St. Catherine of Siena, we get the impression that God has nothing to do but simply occupy himself with Catherine.  And that is right.  The undivided attention of God is with her and with each of us.

–Peter Van Breeman, S.J.
The Courage to Accept Acceptance

A great compliment

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That God is jealous for our love
is the greatest compliment
he could possibly pay us.

–Abraham Kuyper
(1837 – 1920)

Published in: on 07/07/2013 at 14:42  Comments (1)  
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Sublime extravagance

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Holiness is love of God
and of others carried to
a sublime extravagance.

–Jean Baptiste H. Lacordaire
(1802 – 1861)

Love is a God thing

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To love another person
is to help them love God.

–Soren Kierkegaard
(1813 – 1855)

Published in: on 01/09/2013 at 22:21  Leave a Comment  
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It started with Him

Standing on fence

We could not seek God at all,
if he had not already found us;
we could not love him,
if he had not first loved us . . .

–Helmut Thielicke, (1908 – 1986)

The great thing to remember

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On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for him. Nobody can always have devout feelings; and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian love, either toward God or toward man, is an affair of the will.

But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, his love for us does not.

–C. S. Lewis

Do you love Me?

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An extraordinary transaction takes place between Jesus and Peter on the Tiberian seashore. The most plaintive words ever spoken take the form of a heart-stopping question: “Do you love Me?” As we lay aside our fuzzy distractions and actively listen, we hear the suffering cry of a God never heard of before. What is going on here?

No deity of any world religion
has ever condescended to inquire
how we feel about that god.

The pagan gods fired thunderbolts to remind persons who was in charge. The Rabbi in whom infinity dwells asks if we care about Him. The Jesus who died a bloody, God-forsaken death that we might live, is asking if we love Him!

–Brennan Manning

The way to wellness

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We shall not be well so long
as we love and admire anything more
than we love and admire God.

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 11/30/2012 at 7:44  Leave a Comment  
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Back to wholeness

God did not tell us to follow Him
because He needed our help,
but because He knew that loving Him
would make us whole.

–Irenaeus (ca. 125-202)

Our terrible freedom

And because God’s love is uncoercive and treasures our freedom — if above all he wants us to love him, then we must be left free not to love him — we are free to resist it, deny it, crucify it finally, which we do again and again. This is our terrible freedom, which love refuses to overpower so that, in this, the greatest of all powers, God’s power, is itself powerless.

― Frederick Buechner

More than galaxies

It is a gracious thing
in our relationship
with the heavenly Father
to find that He loves us
for ourselves and
values our love more
than galaxies of
new created worlds.

–A. W. Tozer
(1897-1963)

Made to be lovers of God

Prayer is central to our lives because it reaches into the very core of our being, into the heart of human existence. In his Confessions . . . Augustine said that our central drive is our desire for God, whether we recognize this or not. We are not capable of generating our own happiness; we must go outside ourselves to find it. Augustine once told his congregation: “Men are not sufficient for their own bliss.” C. S. Lewis described this process as being “surprised by joy”—the sudden discovery that all our lives we were looking for something beyond our relationships, achievements and successes.

We were, in fact, looking for God,
but did not know it.

Only when our drives and desires, hopes and loves are redirected towards God, do we become fully human. We were made for our relationships, created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The function of prayer is to bring these realizations to the surface of our lives.

Prayer points us beyond ourselves,
beyond our friendships,
to the deepest realization of all:
that God made us to be lovers of God.
He is at the very heart of our hearts.

–James Houston

Love and holiness

We must love God
before we can be holy at all;
this being the root of all holiness.
Now, we cannot love God,
until we know He loves us.

–John Wesley (1703 – 1791)

Real prayer

Real prayer comes
not from gritting our teeth,
but from falling in love.

-Richard Foster

Knowing is loving

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. . . if we knew him we would love him. “God is love,” as St. John said. He who does not love him does not know him, for how can we know love without loving him? Therefore it stands to reason that all those who only fear God, do not know him.

–Fenelon
(1651-1715)


Continuous interchange

The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion.

–A. W. Tozer


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