“God created us out of free and unselfish love [1-3]” – YOUCAT (2)
“When a man loves, his heart overflows. He would like to share his joy with others. He gets this from his Creator. Although God is a mystery, we can still think about Him in a human way and say: Out of the “surplus” of His love He created us. He wanted to share his endless joy with us, who are creatures of his love.”
God created us because his heart was overflowing with love. He wanted to share that love, so he created us to share in His joy. We were created out of God’s love. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that God created man to share in His own blessed life and that “He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength.” (CCC – 1). So God created us, out of unselfish love to seek Him, to know Him and to love Him so that we can share in His joy!
Love is more than a feeling we get when we feel affection toward someone. It’s not about happy, tingly feelings and holding hands. Love is about doing for others. It’s about putting the needs of others before our own. Love has no conditions. It is unselfish. And it is precisely because of this unselfishness that love creates joy and is life giving. Certainly there are feelings that we experience, but love goes way beyond feelings and love demands that we take action in spite of how we may feel.
Think about a time when you did something nice for someone that you really didn’t “feel” like doing. Maybe you cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. You probably didn’t jump up from the dinner table and shout “Mom, it would give me great joy to clean up the kitchen! Please, relax and take a break while I show my thanks to you for preparing this wonderful meal.” Maybe you were asked to help clean up the kitchen; and maybe your response began with “Uhhh!… do I have to?” In either case, chances are you probably experienced some feeling of joy when you were done. But, the love you showed your mom wasn’t because of the joy you felt about cleaning up the kitchen. However, the joy you felt when it was done, was because of the love you showed your mother. Okay, and maybe just a little bit because you were done! But you did it and you felt good about it because you saw how it happy it made your mom. In a sense, you breathed a little life into her day.
But unselfish love is life giving in even deeper ways. God has so much love that he created man in his own image and likeness (Gen 1:26). When a man and a woman come together in the sacrament of marriage, their desire for children comes out of their desire to share their overflowing love. And so they participate with God in a miracle that gives life out of that love. The family is a living example of the result of unselfish love. And, let’s face it, it’s not always easy being part of a family. Everyone has to make sacrifices and help out. We can’t always do or have everything we would like. Sometimes there are arguments and fighting – it can be stressful. But more often there is a sense of belonging and warmth. That’s why “there’s no place like home!” And home is our ultimate goal. Home with our Father in Heaven. That’s where he will share his joy with us in it’s fullness. That’s why he calls us to seek him, to know him and to love him with all our strength.
1. What are some ways that I show love to others?
2. When are the times that I most often think about myself and what I want first?
3. What can I do to remember that love is about putting the needs of others before my own?
4. What are three things I can do to get to know God better?
5. How can I show God that I love him with all my strength?