The Greatest Of All Romances
To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.
People talk about falling in love and being in love every day. I have to be honest, I've never really known what that means. In my humble opinion, I think the word love and the phrase being or falling in love is used quite loosely. What I do know is that loving someone and being in love are two different things. No, I am not going to venture to explain the subtle differences; I will leave that to the poets and philosophers of the world.
I started thinking about all this when I read my friend, Colleen's newsletter. (You can subscribe to her Prayerful Morsels by visiting her wonderful blog Thoughts on Grace.) She talked about falling in love with Jesus and posed the question:"Do you remember when you first fell in love with Jesus?" This got me thinking about not only the answer to that specific question, but a few other things as well.
For one thing it has been through my relationship with Christ that I have learned what love really is and what it is not. I know that it is more than the warm fuzzies~ in fact love really has little to nothing to do with that feeling at all. I have learned through Our Savior that love is an act of the will and is sacrificial in nature.
Over the last few years, Our Lord has also shown me some of what it means to be in love. It is constant forgiveness, mercy and willingness to die. It is also the deep desire to always be with the beloved. Jesus is always ready to forgive me, shows me mercy beyond telling, has died for love of me, and desires to remain with me and is so in the Eucharist.
The sacrament of Marriage is God's gift of this type of love to us while on this earth. Good, Christian marriages mirror Christ's love for His Church. While I myself have never truly known what it is to be in love with someone on this earth, I have come to know what it is to experience the greatest love of all.
I don't know the precise moment it happened. At first glance I would say it probably happened the day I made my First Holy Communion. I remember the day vividly. I also remember the response I gave my mother when after arriving home, she asked me if I was hungry~ I told her no; I had Jesus. That cute response made by a happy seven year old has become a profound statement in my life of faith today. The seeds of love were planted that day, but I would leave my Love for worldly things that did not last. However, Love waited patiently and with great anticipation for my return and when I did, He began to show me what it is to fall in love, be in love, and stay in love. The verse from Song of Songs under my header really sums it up for me. "When I found Him whom my heart loves, I took hold of Him and would not let Him go." (Song 3:4)
So to answer the question, I do not remember precisely when I fell in love with Jesus, I just know that I have and I pray for the grace to stay there with Him.
Nothing is more practical than finding God,
that is, than falling in love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you
out of bed in the morning,
what you will do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love; stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
~Pedro Arrupe, SJ