Come Away, My Beloved–Do You Know How Much God Desires You?

Here is a piece I did yesterday for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend’s My Year of Faith Project.   It’s a great website and a terrific opportunity to get more out of this Year of Faith.  Check it the website here.  My article will run next week but here’s a preview!

Come Away, My Beloved.

Let him kiss me with kisses of the mouth!  More delightful is your love than wine!

(Song of Songs 1:1)

            Is there anything more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day?  Is there anything more touching than seeing a groom’s face light on the eyes of his beloved?

I remember when I saw my bride for the first time standing at the back of the Church.  I could barely catch my breath.  I couldn’t believe how blessed and lucky I was to be marrying such an amazing woman.

What if I told you that is exactly how God feels about you?

The Song of Songs is a scandalously passionate exploration of  the love between a bride and her bridegroom.   This book of the bible leaves little to the imagination as the bride sings of her longing for her man and the bridegroom replies with intimate praise of her beauty.  In the words of Pope St. Gregory the Great,

            Hence it is that…words are set down that pertain to bodily love, so that the soul, wakened  anew out of its listless state by a language to which it is accustomed, may heat up and may, by the language of a lesser love, be aroused to a higher.  For in this book, kisses are mentioned, breasts are mentioned, cheeks are mentioned, loins are mentioned; and the holy picture these words paint are not meant for mockery or laughter.  Rather ought we focus our minds on the greater mercy of God.  We must notice how marvelously and mercifully, in making mention of the parts of the body and thus summoning us to love, [God] works with us;  for he reaches down in to the vocabulary of our sensual love in order to set our hearts on fire, aiming to incite us to a holy loving.  Indeed, by the act in which he lowers himself in words, he also elevates our understanding; for from the words    associated with this sensual love we learn how fiercely we are to burn with love for the Divine.        ——Pope St. Gregory the Great: On the Song of Songs.

You know, at least intellectually, that God loves you.  But did you ever stop to think of how much he desires you and longs to be desired by you in return?

When you are in love, what else can you think about?  What would you let stand in the way of getting one more second on the phone, one more minute by your love’s side?  Is there anything that could be more fascinating to you than your beloved’s face?  Is there anything more wonderful than the eyes of your beloved looking at you with so much care?  So much warmth?

God is looking at you that way right now.

Is there anything more comforting than your beloved’s arms wrapped around you?

God wants to hold you that way now.

He doesn’t care what you’ve done; who you are; who you are not.  He doesn’t care where you come from or how much of a hot mess you are.    Dry your tears.

He loves you as a bridegroom love a bride.

You are his beautiful beloved and he longs to be one with you.   Will you say, “I do” today?

-To learn more about the surprising ways God reveals his love for you, check out How to Find True Love–a book about discovering God’s love in unexpected places.

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