God Is Love
In reply to the question “What or who is God?” Mother Teresa on one occasion said, “God is love and He loves you and we are precious to Him. He called us by our name. We belong to Him. He has created us in His image for greater things. God is love, God is joy, God is light, God is truth.”
This statement encapsulates her belief in God and her experience of Him: God exists and is the Source of all that exists; His very being is love; He has created us in his likeness with spiritual powers of intellect and free will, with the ability to know and to love; He is a Father who loves each of us uniquely, personally, and He ardently desires our happiness. No hardship or suffering, her own or that of her poor, could undermine Mother Teresa’s conviction that God IS love, that all He does or permits is ultimately for some greater good and, therefore, an expression of His immense and unconditional love. St. Augustine wrote at the beginning of his Confessions:
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
It was Mother Teresa’s conviction that all people “deep down in their heart, believe in God.” There is a longing for God in each of us and though it may not be recognized or consciously expressed as such, the search for joy, for peace, for happiness and above all for love, is a manifestation of this longing. Though the desire, or “hunger” for God, as Mother Teresa expressed it, is implanted in every human heart, entering into a relationship with Him depends largely on our cooperation with His grace. The freedom to cooperate or not is yet another expression of the love and respect that God has for each of His human creatures. He does not force Himself on anyone; He leaves it to our choice. Yet, the response befitting a creature before its Creator, who is infinite love and wisdom ought to be one of love and trust, praise and adoration, recognition and thanksgiving. Loved so greatly by God, each person is called to share that love; as Mother Teresa often affirmed: “We have been created for greater things, to love and to be loved.” To love as God loves, meeting daily with Him through prayer is essential. Without it love dies. Mother Teresa stressed its importance by saying, “What blood is to the body, prayer is to the soul.” But to enter into prayer, silence is necessary, for “in the silence of the heart God speaks.” Her aphorism expressing these truths has become well known:
The fruit of silence is prayer;
the fruit of prayer is faith;
the fruit of faith is love;
the fruit of love is service,
the fruit of service is peace.
This simple yet profound saying places silence as the point of departure for practical love, peace, and service. As Mother Teresa asserted: “Silence is at the root of our union with God and with one another.” Silence and recollection are the indispensable conditions for prayer. An atmosphere of exterior silence is certainly very helpful, but Mother Teresa, who spent most of her life in large, overcrowded cities, learned to be interiorly silent and recollected in the midst of much noise and activity. She shows us that to practice silence one need not flee from the world and live as a hermit. What is necessary is to learn to quiet the mind and heart to dispose ourselves for prayer.
Prayer permeated Mother Teresa’s day: she started, ended, and filled each day with prayer. Her first words upon rising were addressed to God, and throughout the day she spontaneously spoke to Him of her love and gratitude, her plans, hopes, and desires. As soon as some need or difficulty presented itself, however small and insignificant, she turned to God, making her requests with the trust and the expectation of a child dependent on its father. In addition to daily Holy Mass and the morning and evening Liturgy of the Hours (containing psalms, Scripture reading, and intercessions), traditional prayers such as the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, litanies, and novenas, kept her in continual union with God.
An important time of prayer for Mother Teresa was her daily half-hour meditation on the Sacred Scriptures. Formed in the traditional Ignatian method of meditating on the Word of God, principally the Gospels, Mother Teresa was led to intimate conversation and communion with God. Through this prayerful reading, the Word of God took root within her, inflaming her love, influencing her words, and directing her actions. She also nourished her soul each day with an additional half-hour given over to the reading of the lives and writings of the saints or other ascetical works. To help foster recollection throughout the day, Mother Teresa was in the practice of praying “aspirations”—short prayers that raise one ’s mind and heart to God in the midst of daily activities. These repetitions were a great aid to keeping herself in God’s presence. Through these means, she grew in deep knowledge and love of God and was able to respond to Him and to her brothers and sisters in love. Since “love is of God” [1 Jn 4:7], human love is to be a reflection of and a sharing in divine love, which is entirely selfless and seeks only the good of the other.
True love is selfgiving, self-sacrificing, a “dying to self ” in order to love and serve others, and this was the love that Mother Teresa exemplified. In a culture where “love” is overly identified with feelings rather than an act of the will, with pleasure rather than sacrifice, Mother Teresa’s life and teaching, modeled on that of Christ’s, exemplifies the Christian ideal of love.
In an interview Mother Teresa was once asked, “Can you sum up what love really is?” She promptly replied: “Love is giving. God loved the world so much that He gave His Son. Jesus loved the world so much, loved you, loved me so much that He gave His life. And He wants us to love as He loved. And so now we have also to give until it hurts. True love is a giving and giving until it hurts.” Who Is God?
God is love. (3)
God is everywhere. (4)
God is the Author of life. (5)
God is a loving Father. (6)
God is a merciful Father. (7)
God is all powerful and He can take care of us. (8)
God is love and God loves you and loves me. (9)
God is joy. (10)
God is purity Himself.
God is with us. (11)
God is in love with us.
God is in your heart. (12)
God is faithful. (13)
God is love, God is joy, God is light, (14)
God is truth. (15)
God is thoughtful.
God is so good to us.
__________________________2 Cf. Ex 3:14.3 1 Jn 4:8, 4:16.4 Cf. Ps 139:7-10.5 Cf. Jn 1:1-4; Acts 3:15.6 Cf. Mt 6:25-32.7 Cf. Tob 13:4-6; Eph 2:4.8 Cf. Wis 11:21; Mt 6:26.9 Cf. Jn 16:27; 1 Jn 4:16.10 Cf. Neh 8:10; Jn 17:13.11 Cf. Mt 1:23.12 Cf. Rom 10:8.13 Cf. Dt 7:9; 32:4; 1 Cor 1:9.14 Jn 8:12; 1 Jn 1:5.15 Cf. Jn 14:6.
God is so generous.
God is so preoccupied with you.
God is a faithful lover.
God is a jealous lover.
God is so wonderful.
When God created us, He created us out of love. There is no other explanation because God is love. And He has created us to love and to be loved. If we could remember that all the time, there would be no wars, no violence, no hatred in the world. So beautiful. So simple.
There Must Be a God, Somewhere!
The other day a voluntary worker with long hair . . . was talking to me and he kept on saying, “I don’t believe in God.” So I said to him, “Supposing, just now, as you were talking, you got a heart attack . . . can you stop it?” He got such a surprise that he didn’t say that phrase any more. He was beginning to realize that, in the end, no matter how much we talk, we can’t change the time of our death. A few days later I heard that, after a lot of thought, he was beginning to make the reservation that there must be a God, somewhere!
Where There Is Love, There Is God
One man told me: “I am an atheist,” but he spoke so beautifully about love. Mother told him: “You cannot be an atheist if you speak so beautifully about love. Where there is love, there is God. God is love.”
Love, Not in Words
First, God proved to us that He loved us. God loved the world so much that He gave His son Jesus.18 And Jesus loved you, He loved me and He gave Himself on the Cross for us.19 He was not afraid to love us and He loved us until the end.20 He gave up everything that was beautiful and was really like us, a human being. He was like us in everything except sin. But He loved us tenderly. And to make sure that we understand His love, that we don’t forget that He loved us, He makes Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one. And He says, “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to Me.” and explains to us what to do and how to do it. Before He taught the people, He had pity on the multitude, and He fed them. He made a miracle. He blessed the bread, and He fed five thousand people. It’s because He loved the people. He had pity on them. He saw the hunger in their faces and He fed them. And only then He taught them. And so it is so wonderful to think that you and I, we can love God. But how, where? Where is God?
We believe He is everywhere. We believe that He has made you, and made me, not just to be a number in the world, but He has made us with a purpose. There is a reason for our being here. . . . And that reason is to love. You have been made to love and to be loved. That’s why it is so wrong not to love. And that’s the most beautiful thing that the human being has or can give: Love. Not in words. Because we are human beings [and] w...