Friday, May 6, 2011

Can I Love God Too Much?

I've had my nose in a fantastic theological book by Fr. Reginald Garigou-Lagrange O.P. called For Love of God and the Cross of Jesus. The book has been absolutely convicting me, which is always exactly what I need!

The book is theological in nature but Lagrange is such a good writer that he makes the subjects accessible for the average Catholic as well. My favorite part about the book is that he provides a synthesis of my two favorite and most influential saints - St. John of the Cross and St. Thomas Aquinas.

The central question, at least at the beginning of the book, is one I really need to be kicking around in my own life, and Lagrange puts it very simply - can I love God too much?

This is a great question because many that I know, myself included, have the mindset that a person should love God at about 80% of full-throttle because if a person goes all out, they'll turn into a "crazy" or a "Jesus freak" or whatever phrase you want to use. We want the safety of Jesus and controlled normality. We are afraid that if we love God full-throttle we won't be able to talk to normal people, and I know I often rationalize my compromise by telling myself "I'll keep one foot here in the "real" world so that I can reach people" as if, in that decision, I am somehow doing God a favor.

The Gospel from Mass yesterday features the following line:
"For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit." RATION! What a perfect word for what I know I do all too often - I set the limits, I decide on what terms God will work in me and through me and I knew as soon as I read it yesterday that God was saying to me "STOP RATIONING! I am He who can not be rationed!"

St. Thomas and St. John of the Cross and yesterday's Gospel all serve as good reminders to us in the "normal" world that we CAN'T love God too much, and maybe for a person like me, who is pretty blessed, the true test of Faith isn't so much believing IN God but believing that giving God my all and surrendering will not make me weird.