Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Divine Love

Remember this post, dear readers? Well, I still have Honors with that professor and she is still compelling us to wrestle with the hard questions.

One of the major discussions during last week's class was about God's love for us. What I wanted to know was whether God feels anything when He loves us--or does He merely make a cool, impassive act of the will in choosing to love us? On one level, I understand the arguments given for the impassivity of God--but on the other hand, we humans are made in His image and likeness and we have emotions, sometimes very strong ones, and Christianity does not order us to discard them.

Of course, first you have to establish what love is even for mere mortals like ourselves. This is no easy task. Some say it's just a chemical reaction to something which gives us pleasure. I reject this idea, because I reject the idea that I am the sum of my chemical reactions. So, then, is love the response of the soul to something good? Perhaps. Let's work with that definition a bit. When your heart leaps at the sight of something beautiful, is that merely your bodily senses mediating your soul's reaction, or is there some sort of leap within your soul itself in response to the thing of beauty?

I guess the question I am asking (in all sincerity, because I do not know the answer) is this: Does God desire us? He sees what He made, and calls it good. He loves us for the goodness which He gave us. He loves us even when we destroy that good, because we are His. He came down to earth and died for us because of this love. Did He do all that because He thought it unfitting that we should perish and thus further mess up the good world He created, or did He do it because He wants us? Because He longs for us to be with Him always?

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