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The Life of Love

The Life of Love

Presence of God – Grant, O Lord, that even while I am here on earth, I may love You as I shall love You in heaven.


If it may be said that by faith “eternal life begins in us” (St. Thomas, Summa, IIa IIae, q.4, a.1, co.), the Life of Love Aquinatsame may be said–and with greater reason–of charity, which will remain unchanged even in heaven. Eternal life will be essentially a life of love, of love which has reached its greatest height, for when we know God perfectly by the beatific vision, we shall finally be able to fulfill with absolute perfection the precept of loving God with all our strength. On this earth such perfection is possible only relatively; nevertheless, even now we possess the same charity with which we shall love God in heaven. Therefore, we can begin even now that life of love which will flower completely in eternity. Our love in heaven will have the characteristics of completeness and absolute continuity, with the impossibility of its ever failing. We cannot attain this while we are on earth, but we can strive for it by the exercise of a pure, intense love, a love that is, as far as possible, always in action. These, then, are the qualities our love for God should have: purity, intensity, continuity.

Our love for God will be pure when we love Him so much that we seek only His glory and the accomplishment of His will: “Hallowed be Thy name … Thy will be done” (Mt 6:9-10). This is the only real good that we, poor creatures, can wish for our God. All the glory we can possibly give Him consists in saying a wholehearted yes to His holy will, in rivaling the angels and blessed in heaven by carrying out His will here on earth with such great love and completeness: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (ibid.). The purity of our love should consist in seeking God’s glory alone, His will alone, completely forgetting ourself, in being ready to sacrifice every wish, desire, and interest for Him.

Therefore, even in the spiritual life, our first thought should be, not our own perfection, progress, and consolation, but always God’s delight, good pleasure, and glory. It is thus that we will serve our own interests better, for he who gives himself to God, completely forgetting himself, draws down upon himself the fullness of divine love. What greater good could come to us than being loved by Infinite Love?


“O Lord, You teach me that without love even the most perfect gifts are as nothing, that charity is the most excellent way, for it leads directly to You. That is why I wish for no science but the science of love, and having given all the substance of my house for love, I count it as nothing. I understand so clearly that love alone can make me pleasing in Your sight, that my sole ambition is to acquire it.

“My occupation is to gather flowers, the flowers of love and sacrifice, and to offer them to You, my God, to give You pleasure. I wish to labor for Your love alone–with the sole aim of pleasing You, of consoling Your Sacred Heart, and of saving souls who will love You through eternity” (Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Story of a Soul 13 – Act of Oblation).

“O God, my love for You ought to be total, infinite in desire, because You will not give Yourself entirely to a soul unless it gives itself wholly to You. I must not cling to any attachment, nor admit even a single voluntary imperfection, nor refuse You anything. Grant that I may give myself to You in a continual, uninterrupted donation, moment by moment, seeking in all things Your greater glory, always trying to please You, always wanting Your will alone, doing each action with all my heart and with all my love.

“My love for You must be delicate. Help me to reach that exquisiteness and delicacy, that regard for details which You appreciate so much, which delights You.

“My love for You should be strong and generous, and prove itself in sacrifice, in seeking sacrifice in the offering and the smiling acceptance of suffering. O God, for love of You, I want to take advantage of the little opportunities so that I may be strong in the big ones” (Sr. Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.).


Note from Dan: This post on the Life of Love is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.

Art: [Thomas Aquinas], Sandro Botticelli, PD-US; Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Philip George Regan

    Wonderful Article Dan – as for this prayer ” Grant, O Lord, that even while I am here on earth, I may love You as I shall love You in heaven.” – this is perfiect – I would only add
    “Jesus and Mary – I Love you – Save Souls – save consecrated Souls – Lord I beseech you to repeat this Act of Love One Thousand Times with every beat of my heart and every breath I take – Amen ”

    The Eternal Truth is God Is Love – and the Mystery is – all he wants from you and I – is To Be Loved .

  • Charles Saliba

    Hereunder is paragraph from the Dialogue of S. Catherine, which makes it clear that love and pain are inseparable! I opted to post it all, since it’s all important, so please do shorten it as you feel best!


    How very pleasing to God is the willing desire to suffer for Him.”Very pleasing to Me, dearest daughter, is the willing desire to bear every pain and fatigue,even unto death, for the salvation of souls, for the more the soul endures,the more she shows that she loves Me; loving Me she comes to know more of My truth, and the more she knows, the more pain and intolerable grief she feels at the offenses committed against Me…Patience cannot be proved in any other way than by suffering, and patience is united with love as has been said. Therefore bear yourselves with manly courage…unless you do so, you will not prove yourselves to be spouses of My Truth, and faithful children, nor of the company of those who relish the taste of My honor, and the salvation of souls.”

  • Judy Silhan

    As I read over this reflection, it brought to mind the question I am currently struggling with, and which I mentioned in a post last week – How can I love those different from myself as Jesus loves me, especially when that person is living in your home? I read this reflection and then read from St. Faustina’s Diary, pp. 116 (55), where she says “…O my Jesus, honor and glory to You for these trials of love!…” In the reflection it said that my love for Jesus, (my understanding is that this includes my love for others) “…should be strong and generous, prove itself in sacrifice, in seeking sacrifice in the offering and the smiling acceptance of suffering.” With these thoughts in mind, I came to the conclusion, or discovery, that suffering for the salvation of souls, out of love for Jesus, as many of the saints did, is not the only type of suffering to exhibit our love for our Lord. Another type of suffering, can be living peacefully and compassionately with someone, despite the inner turmoil one may feel inside. Perhaps one way of looking at my struggle to Love as I am loved, is to realize, as St. Faustina mentioned in pp.117, “…beware of adding to the suffering of others, because that is displeasing to the Lord.” (She is speaking here of living with others in her order.) So, with all of this in mind, I can joyfully offer this temporary “suffering” to our Lord, whose suffering was not temporary, and which continues to this day as many reject His love.

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