Most of us are aware that God loves us. However, that does not adequately express the truth that God is Love. Because love is not something God does. It is who he is. His entire nature is love. He always views us and all people and all things through love. He cannot see us in any other way. God cannot get mad at us or disappointed in us and stop loving us. He is love and always relates to us as love.
St. Thomas Aquinas is considered by many to be the greatest scholastic of the Middle Ages. In 1273, on the feast of St. Nicholas he was celebrating Mass when he had a spiritual experience that so affected him that he ceased all writing, leaving his Summa Theologiae unfinished. Brother Reginald was his secretary to whom he had dictated much of his work. He was troubled over Thomas’ sudden decision to quit writing. Thomas told him, “I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw.”
Thomas never described what he saw or experienced during that mass. However, we do know that afterwards he took to reading and rereading The Song of Songs. As he lay on his deathbed, his last request was to have someone read to him the Song of Songs as he passed into eternity. It seems to me that St. Thomas received a revelation of the love of God, and in the light of that revelation, nothing else mattered.
God’s love for us is sometimes compared to a father’s love, other times to a mother’s love. Christ is sometimes referred to as our elder brother. But more often, Jesus is presented as our bridegroom. No wonder a love song often aptly expresses our relationship with him.
That relationship is described in the book, Song of Songs. It opens with the bride speaking.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
Then the groom speaks
“How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful!”
The bride adores her bridegroom.
“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
is my beloved among the young men.
I delight to sit in his shade,
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
and let his banner over me be love.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”
The bridegroom adores his bride.
“My dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places on the mountainside,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.”
“I am my Beloved’s, and You are mine.”
What a beautiful expression of our relationship with Christ. He loves us so much that the died for us. And we love him with all of the life he has given us.
We live in a society in which people are afraid to make a commitment. Especially a lifelong commitment. Who knows what the future holds? It is easier to play it safe and keep permanence at arm’s length.
We can be afraid of losing ourselves in the power of love, especially God’s love. The truth is we find our true selves in the power of God’s love.