An couple of hours after I posted the last message about God's love, I was sitting on my porch re-reading Jacques Philippe's Time for God. What he says on page 54 is a valuable adjunct to my post. He writes:
In the relationship with God our first act of love, one that must remain the basis for every act of love for Him, is this: to believe that he loves us, and to let ourselves be loved . . . just as we are, quite apart from any merits or virtues we may possess. With this grounding of our relationship with God, the relationship is on a sound footing. Otherwise it is distorted by a certain Phariseeism, its center not ultimately occupied by God but by our own selves, our activity, our virtue, or some such thing. (My emphasis).
This is a very demanding attitude, since it requires that we shift the center of our existence from ourselves to God and forget about ourselves . . . God is not primarily looking for us to do things. We are "unprofitable servants" (Luke 17:10. "God does not need our works, but is thirsty for our love," said St. Therese of Lisieux. He asks us first of all to let ourselves be loved, to believe in his love . . . ."
Those last words by St. Therese resonate with me. "He asks us first of all to let ourselves be loved."
That's hard to do when we are convinced God is always (or usually) mad at us.