Understanding God’s love language is central to human fulfillment and happiness. After all, God placed within our hearts a desire to love and be loved in return. He wouldn’t place this desire within such a sacred space if he didn’t intend on communicating the path towards its fulfillment. Human beings are created to seek love in their relationships with one another and with God. Given that it feels sooooo good to be loved then how, and why, do we get it so wrong sometimes? Why do we choose thoughts and activities that are not congruent with love? Wouldn’t life be a whole lot easier if we chose love all the time? I believe it would be. However, before we can fully choose love we must understand God’s love language – the One who is the author of love.
Hearing God’s Voice
The other day I was in the Adoration Chapel at my home parish after morning Mass, just sitting there with Jesus and a thought came across my heart as I was reading my Bible. Rather, fear entered into my heart. “Do I even hear God’s voice” I thought to myself? I know in my mind that those who love Jesus know and hear his voice; however, do I actually do this? I don’t hear an audible voice, I don’t see visions, and I don’t fall into deep meditative trances. Then a deep sadness overcome my heart. I must be missing out on something grand. So there I sat… pondering what next. All I could do was pick up my Bible and try to communicate with God. Beginning with the scripture of the day I tried to listen to the voice of God.
As I sat with Sacred Scripture God revealed his love language to me. It was something I was already very familiar with, yet, since it didn’t come through with bells and whistles I must have missed something along the way. I already knew his voice – he just speaks very softly (and beautifully) to me. Upon this newfound “knowing” I saw a golden thread woven throughout Scripture that I hadn’t fully comprehended before. I didn’t literally see it mind you. Rather, I felt this golden thread and understood how it is woven throughout his Word. It was kinda like putting the last piece of puzzle into place – most of the work had already been done.
This golden thread is God’s Love Language and it is the binding glue that holds everything together. God’s love language hold scripture together, it holds God’s people together, it holds the world together, and it holds God’s entire universe together. And best of all, in as much as I am humanly able, I recognized this golden thread and my heart delighted in this newfound awareness. This golden thread, God’s love language, is in plain sight for all to experience.
God reveals his love language through many avenues and sacred scripture provides the essential foundation necessary to understand his love language. Like a student who must spend time understanding their native tongue before they can receive instruction in school, we must spend time understanding the language of God by sitting with sacred scripture. The more time we spend with scripture, the more we will understand and receive God’s love language. As we sit with scripture we open ourselves to the message God has for us.
Sacred scripture is what we call a “thick text”, meaning that studying it will continually lead to a more profound and deeper understanding of its message. Given this, as we journey closer to God we will more fully experience more of him through scripture. A particular verse may have revealed to you an entirely different message last year than it does this year! Don’t you just love that! God continually draws you deeper and deeper into himself.
God’s Love Language
God speaks a language of love. I know the Italians speak a language of love too (I love Italy by the way and I want to go back there again soon!!!); however, God’s language of love also reveals to us his eternal promise. God has promised us that he will always be with us – for all of eternity. There is nothing we can say or do that has the power to keep God away from us. Going further, there is nothing we can say or do that has the power to cause God to break his promises. God loves us and he is eternally faithful.
As we begin to more fully understand God’s Love Language we will receive the comfort and peace our hearts desire. Looking at the life of Jacob we witness God’s faithfulness and the subsequent peace of heart Jacob’s family received. Jacob, grandson of Abraham, was reunited with his favorite son Joseph and his family was blessed. During the time of famine this family was protected. Yes, painful moments happened in this family – intensely painful moments. Yet, God was faithful and he used the painful moments for his glory. He never left them – and he will never leave you and your family either.
As I was sitting with today’s scripture readings, pondering which direction to take my reflection, I couldn’t help but reflect on the conflictions my heart experienced earlier this week. My rather newfound realization of the golden thread was still very fresh in my mind and heart. Then, after reading today’s Psalm my heart spoke rather loudly to me – “Carolyn, it’s time to sit with this Psalm through Lectio Divina.” And so I did.
Today’s Psalm reveals to us God’s Love Language! It’s all there – his promises, his love, his presence, his healing. Everything he has for us – all condensed into a few paragraphs. So I sat with Psalm 37 in Chapel this morning, right in front of Jesus, and I allowed God to speak to me in his love language. A few things arose in my heart that I would like to share with all you.
Psalm 37 – Delighting in Him
God knows we need security in this world and he tells us how to receive it. We will encounter hard times in our lives, times that make us doubt and lose hope. After all, we live in the same fallen world that Abraham and his family lived in – and Adam and Eve, but that is a story for another day. Tough times are going to happen. However, God tells us to take delight in him – even in the hard times. When we take such delight he will grant us our heart’s delight. When was the last time you took pure delight in something or someone? You know, the delight you see when a child squeals with joy! The delight that causes you to be joyful down to your very bones – I like to think of this as divine delight and joy. This is the kind of delight God is talking about. Full out, pure, limitless delight in HIM!
What happens to such a heart when it is filled with such divine delight and joy? Love, bliss, joy, safety, security, everything that is of God… everything a human heart could ever need is experienced. No wonder God will grant us our hearts request when we are in such a state. A heart is filled with everything that is of God leaves no room for anything else. No room for fear, anger, or shame – only joyful Godly delight. Delight that leads to a fulfillment of our heart’s requests.
Psalm 37 – We Will Be Persecuted
Yes, my friends in Christ, we will suffer persecution. Today’s Psalm reveals this and in today’s Gospel Jesus warns his disciples of their impending persecution. Yet, God watches over us and he calls us to himself. We are called to take refuge in him and such refuge calls us to love and forgive those who persecute us. Perhaps we will not suffer the persecution Jesus’ disciples suffered, or like those in the Philippines today, or like the Christians suffering persecution in the Middle East; however, we will all suffer persecution of some kind.
When was the last time someone gossiped about you, hated you or despised you? The forms of persecution are vast and wide, and at their core you will find a disconnect from love and an inability to understand God’s Love Language. Through it all God speaks his love language to us – a language full of love and faithfulness. God calls us to take refuge in him during our times of distress. He calls us to turn from evil and to do good. Such a call comes with a promise. He will save us and we will spend all of eternity with him.
Psalm 37 – Lectio Divina
I invite you to practice Lectio Divina and meditate on Psalm 37 today or this weekend. I believe you will transcend to a place where God speaks to you, I know I did. You may not experience bells and whistles, you may not hear an audible voice, you may not see visions, and you may not fall into a deep meditative trance. However, God will speak to you through his love language and you will come to know more of him, his plan for your life, and his plan for the lives of those you love.
How I Practice Lectio Divina
On my website I have shared how I practice Lectio Divina. I invite you to join me in this beautiful prayer. Here is the link: The LIVE Method – Lectio Divina
Thank You to Our Readers
I want all of our readers to know that I deeply appreciate the comments you share. While I can’t speak for the other authors, I sometimes can’t wait to read the posts that follow my reflections! They make me feel like a kid in a candy store sometimes! I can feel that many of your comments come from deep within your hearts. This makes my heart overflow with joy. Often tears come to my eyes after reading some of your comments. At which time I offer immediate thanksgiving to God. Knowing that I have touched another’s heart is humbling and amazing. I pray for all our readers and it warms my heart to know we share a beautiful long distance relationship.
May your family be blessed my friends in Christ. – Carolyn
Triune God – heal those suffering persecution in all parts of the world.
Sacred Heart of Jesus – have mercy on us.
Father God – consume us.
Holy Spirit – enter in to us.
Mother Mary – pray for us.
Saint Kateri Takakwitha – pray for us.