Divine Love, Earth Love, Human Love, continued

Many people, in invoking the name of God, think of Judge or Potentate or stern Father or indifferent, unmoved Mover or cause of Fate.  

Never Stop Loving. Photo by Derick McKinney on Unsplash

That “God is love” represents a profoundly alternative direction for humankind.  What kind of love? Love of forests? Of music? Of eating? Of children? Of lovers?  

The word “love” is such a broad word, especially in English, that it applies to so many things.  But to say God is love is to render God omnipresent, omnifelt, part of everyday life—and of everyday aspiration.  

For who does not aspire for love? To give love and to receive love? How great is love, how vast, how without limitation? Do all creatures love in some way? 

Recently I read the story of a wounded dog, a Doberman named Khan, who after just four days into a new and adopted family with a 17-month-old baby saved that baby’s life by suddenly picking it up by its diaper and tossing it across the yard. 

At first the bystanders thought the dog was attacking the baby—until they realized the dog took sick very suddenly. 

Dogs are our guardian angels. Photo by Vitaliy Zalishchyker on Unsplash

Rushing it to the veterinarian they learned he had been bitten by one of the most venomous snakes on the planet—the Mulga—and Khan was near death for days as the vets struggled to save his life. 

Instead of killing the baby, the dog had saved its life, had intervened when he saw the snake approaching the tiny child, and put his own life on the line.  As it turned out the dog lived. And the child too. Love among the animals. This too is love; this too is God present.

Animals respond to love. “Amazing Man Turns Family Farm Into Animal Sanctuary” By The Dodo on YouTube

Love is present because goodness is present.  Aquinas puts it this way: “God is sheer goodness” and shares an “original goodness” with all creatures.  Creatures respond to goodness and that is love.  Aquinas: “The habitual or conditioned appetite for something as for its own good is called love.”  And all beings seek what is for their own good, thus they love.

It seems love permeates the universe then.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unanmaeable God, p. 2.  

And Charles Burack, ed., Matthew Fox; Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality, pp. 100f.  

And Fox, Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality, pp. 99f., 108. 

To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner image: Loving the Earth. Photo by Sean Foster on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Is it your experience that love permeates the universe (which is not to deny the presence of evil as well)?

Recommended Reading

Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God …Including the Unnameable God

Too often, notions of God have been used as a means to control and to promote a narrow worldview. In Naming the Unnameable, renowned theologian and author Matthew Fox ignites our imaginations by offering a colorful range of Divine Names gathered from scientists and poets and mystics past and present, inviting us to always begin where true spirituality begins: from experience.
“This book is timely, important and admirably brief; it is also open ended—there are always more names to come, and none can exhaust God’s nature.” -Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, author of Science Set Free and The Presence of the Past

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5 thoughts on “Divine Love, Earth Love, Human Love, continued”

  1. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    I’m appreciative Mathew, of you touching on self-love in today’s DM. For a long time the Church has taught that self-love is an act of selfishness, that it was sinful… and yet in scripture we read that we are to love others, as we love ourselves. This paradox taught, led to confusion for many… creating a tension within most. In my experience, how we love ourselves, deeply influences how we love others. I see the importance and value of teaching people… of the Original Blessing… as a healing balm for this wounding caused by the lie of original sin… which has contributed to an inability for people to not only truly love themselves, but to love in general. Perhaps the Catholic Church may one day come to acknowledge and recognize you, as a Doctor of the Church… and your teachings of Original Blessing as the healing itself needs.

    I also appreciated the amazing story of the dog saving the infants life. It revealed to me, yet again, how other creatures other than humans, have a conscious awareness and intuitive intelligence, rooted in love. We can all learn a great deal about this, through our four-legged friends as well as through all of creation. These stories for myself seem to validate and confirm what Teilhard speaks of when he refers to the Noosphere, which all of creation is evolving, emerging and converging towards… a greater measure of conscious loving!

  2. Avatar

    Yes, the mystery of Divine Love~Wisdom~Creativity… is the same as God, our Mother~Father Creator’s Presence within, through, among us, immanent and transcendent, within All ongoing co-Creation~Incarnation~Evolution, especially our beautiful Mother Nature/Earth, and our sacred multidimensional-multiverse Cosmos within God’s Loving Diverse Oneness….

  3. Avatar

    There is a video of a woman returning to her ruined apartment in Ukraine after the abominable russian attacks began. As someone else videoed the devastation in the apartment, the woman sat at her piano, which was miraculously unharmed, opened the keyboard, dusted it off, and began to play a beautiful classical piece that bespoke her love and devotion to freedom, art, and beauty even in the midst of vile injustice.

  4. Avatar

    I think that love and evil permeate the universe, and we choose which one we are open to. It is like the admonition in the Hebrew Scriptures to choose life or death. Of course, both are always a part of life, but with practices and being open and aware and full of awe, we can mostly float on love.

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