by Michael Ketterhagen
“The love of God is not a question of feeling but of choice ....” --Thomas Keating, Intimacy with God
There seem to be a lot of shortages in our world today. Although it depends a lot on what we are talking about. There were major shortages of meat and toilet paper and other products that people wanted during the early part of the Covid pandemic. Lately, there is a shortage of baby formula in the U.S. because one monopolistic manufacturer was not being clean enough in its production of the formula and was shut down by the Food and Drug Administration.
However, there seems to be no shortage of violence in our world. No shortage of war. No shortage of military weapons and no shortage of money for the weapons. There is, though, a shortage of the will to share money with those who have to work two or three jobs to provide for their families.
There also seems to be a shortage of love in the world—not so much the love that people have for their family and friends, or God--because a lot of people say that they love their families and friends and God, but don’t have much or any love for people who are refugees, or immigrants or abortionists or non-abortionists or for people of different ethnic or political backgrounds. There doesn’t seem to be much love, either, for our enemies or our perceived enemies.
According to Thomas Keating, we can’t just “feel” love for God or for God’s children. Love of God, just like love of the enemy, the abortionist, or the non-abortionist, is a choice. Love is an intention to do loving actions, not necessarily just feeling loving. Love means loving those towards whom it is hard to feel loving. This then is loving God, when we intend to do good and act in a loving manner in thought, word and deed toward another.
There does not seem to be a shortage of fear and animosity, judgment, and self-righteousness, but a deep shortage of trust, kindness, non-judgment and happiness towards all in today’s world.
How I long for this shortage to end!
I pray to the divinity in you!