God Always Entices through Love
God always entices us through love.
Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change, is the experience of love. It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change. If the mystics say that one way, they say it a thousand ways. But because most of our common religion has not been at the mystical level, we’ve been given an inferior message—that God loves you “when” you change (“moralism”). It puts it all back on you…. [and] leads you back to “navel-gazing” and you can never succeed at that level. You are never holy enough, pure enough, refined enough, or loving enough. Whereas, when you fall into God’s mercy, when you fall into God’s great generosity, you find, seemingly from nowhere, this capacity to change. No one is more surprised than you are. You know it is a gift.
~Adapted from Richard Rohr, Following the Mystics through the Narrow Gate: Seeing God in All Things (CD)
As many mystics and saints throughout history have said, God created because God needed something to love. And then, to take this one step further, God created humans so that we could love God back freely. Robots cannot love. Now parallel this to your relationship with your own children. Your fondest desire, maybe at an unconscious level, when you conceived a child was to bring forth a love object. “I want to love this child in every way I can, and even have the desire that this child will love me in return. And the way I love them becomes their empowerment to love me back.”
Apply all this to God. I think this is why the reproductive process is given to us in this sequential way, so that we can experience the reciprocal character of love. God is creating an object of love that God can totally give Himself to, so that eventually we will be capable of freely loving Him back in the same way. Humans are like two-way mirrors, receiving and reflecting.
~Taken from Richard Rohr, The Cosmic Christ (CD)
Christian revelation is always pointed, concrete, and specific. Our word for that is “incarnational” or enfleshed. Walter Brueggemann calls it brilliantly “the scandal of the particular.” Christianity is not a Platonic world of ideas and theories about which you can be right or wrong, or observe from a distance. Incarnation is not something you measure or critique or analyze, but Someone you meet!
This pattern reaches its fullness in the enfleshment of the Divine in one ordinary-looking man named Jesus. We dare to believe that God materialized in human form, so we could fall in love with a real person, which is the only way we fall in love. It is almost impossible to give your life warmly for an idea, a force, an energy, or a concept. We are programmed to give our lives away to other persons
~From Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality