Finding God in Moments of Great Love and Great Sorrow

by Family, Love and Relationships

When were you most in Love? More specifically, when were you most in Love with God?

Do the words of Ron Rolheiser fit with you, that, ‘except for rare, graced, moments we still believe in a God who is hyper-serious, wired, intense, pained, disappointed in us, disappointed in the world, and far from the unconditionally forgiving… Yet the deep struggle of all religion is to enter into the joy of God’.

So I’ll ask again, when were you most in Love?

‘Extra Gum’ has created this commercial, ‘The Story of Sarah & Juan’, it’s about ‘A girl. A guy. And a stick of gum. See their love story unwrap’. It beautifully documents their moments of love; the small moments in which they fell a little deeper into their love together.

We may think about what we would draw in our relationship with God. What I love about the commercial is that it isn’t just the perfect moments of bliss that are drawn onto those wrappers. There’s an argument in there, and there’s the time that she moved away – two moments that would appear quite sorrowful.

But is it not the same for us, because it is often in the moments of great sorrow – as well as the moments of great joy – that we meet God.

How many moments can you think of? Isn’t it funny to think that if God were to draw our love story He would draw everything! Our entire lives! From the beginning of creation He knew us, and from the beginning of creation He has loved us. And yet how quick are we to forget it. We experience great moments of joy and sorrow in which we meet God, but so many of them are forgotten. Goethe writes, ‘and if he should soar in joy, or sink in sorrow, is he not halted and returned to his cold, dull consciousness at the very moment he was longing to be lost in the vastness of infinity’.

We forget, and so below are three suggestions that may help us to remember those moments of grace and love that we experience – those moments in which we are lost in the vastness of God’s love.

How to Remember The Love of God

1. Journal

Write it down. Journals are a great way to journey through our moments of love with God. They are a great way to document our pilgrimages through life. And they allow us to look back on how far we have come already. By keeping a journal we see how active God really is in our lives, how He helps us, guides us, loves us, and journeys with us.

It’s not hard to keep a journal. We don’t have to be the greatest writer; it’s just about taking a little time to sit with God and write a few words.

2. Get Creative

Find an outlet the feels natural. Maybe you’re an avid photographer – then if it is possible, take a photo of the moment and put it somewhere safe. Maybe you’re an avid drawer, or painter – then draw and paint that moment. Maybe you’re a poet – then enshrine this moment of divine grace into a poem. One of God’s greatest gifts is to have created man creative. And it’s something that is readily becoming lost in our western world today; so why not rediscover our creativity in the greatest way possible – in the telling of the greatest love story ever told, the story between God and man.

3.  Share the moment.

Tell someone about the moments in which you fell in love with God. This way, they may remind you of it one day when you have forgotten. And do not underestimate the power of this witness. Real moments of love affect real lives. And being a witness to a real moment of grace and love in your life can change others.

As members of Christ’s Body, the Church, we are part of a big family. When we fall in love with someone we tell others about it, we tell others about those small moments in which our hearts were opened to one another – it’s a natural overflowing of that love which we are experiencing; so it should be the same as we fall in love with God. Parents, when your child does something that makes your heart glow, is there not a natural desire to tell others about this moment, to pop it on Facebook and share it with friends? Then tell others also of the times that God makes your heart glow.

Finally, above all, thank God. Thank Him for these moments of grace and love in your life which He pours out. In Pope Saint John Paul’s encyclical letter ‘Evangelium Vitae’ he makes the point that ‘the life which God gives man… is a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of His presence, a trace of His glory’. God has filled our lives with His glory; our love story with Him is the greatest of all love stories, and it is one worth remembering and giving thanks for from time to time.


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