I hear it all the time. People seem to frequently talk about how they love Jesus and that he's their best friend etc. My friends talk about a personal relationship with Christ. What the heck does any of this mean? I've never felt a real deep love for Jesus. I am greatly inspired by him, and I pray to him every day, but I have never felt like I have ever had a personal relationship with him. I would really love to though. Helping to point me in the right direction would be very helpful.
I totally understand where you are coming from. I have always been thankful for what he did for me. I pray to him. I have even cried after Holy Communion. I don't get the "he's my best friend" thing.
I know a lot of people talk about this. When Jesus talked about...love thy neighbor, people didn't understand what he meant by "love", so he gave them an example.
He gave them the parable about the good Samaritan, how the others passed by a brother who had been beaten, stripped, and left for dead and went on their way, except for the "Good Samaritan" who tended to his wounds and cared for him.
I think the word "love" causes a lot of problems. It gets confused in everything from marital, and other, relationships, all the way up! I have known of couples who assure us they are "in love", because they have this "feeling" at that moment, only to turn around, sometimes in a short time to fall "out of love".
I think that "love" is not necessarily this kind of feeling, that these feelings, can be very misleading.
"Love" is what is operating when a woman wakes up, at 3 am, to tend to her crying child, despite her own exhaustion! Love is a person caring for an elderly parent, when that parent has lost his/her mind!
It is Christ's being crucified to provide us a way out of sin, and Mary's standing there at the cross, beside him!
If you "love" God, keep his commandments, pray, receive the sacraments he gave us, and do the works of mercy, as he asked.
The more you come to know him, the more he sets your heart on fire with love for others and himself. His love for us is infinite, and he proved it by dying for us on the cross. Once you come to see his true nature and how much he cares for all of us, you can't help but begin to feel the same. God created us to have that sort of relationship, one of love. "If you love me, keep my commandments." LOL there's a painting with that quote right across the room from me. Oh and as for the friend thing, I don't see that either. It has always seemed to go deeper than friends. To me, he will always be exalted higher than a friend.
I think it was Saint Augustine who said that if you were the only person that God ever created He would have sent His Son to die for you. Think about that for a bit and then maybe you will journey towards that relationship that you hear about from others. Also think about our interactions with those around us. Who do you love here on earth? Why do you love them? I really love my wife with all of my heart and I know about her because of that love. If I just knew all these things about her and how much she cares for me but didn’t feel a special love for her then what do all of those things really mean?
Sometimes in the struggles of life and the noise of everyday life we can be distracted and not really take the time to just be with our Lord. Do you visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament during Eucharistic Adoration? That would be a great place to start. We are all on a journey and I am not here to tell you that you are on the right road. That you are because you are here. So just meditate on who Jesus is and how important His friendship would be for you. Pray the rosary and receive the sacraments. Then think of Him dying on the cross for you. He died so that you might live. Should we not be head over heels in love with Him?
15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. ------- Jesus
I do love Jesus and not only do I see him and accept him as my Lord, Saviour, Redeemer, Judge and King, I see him as a friend.
He was a friend not only of his disciples (he said at the Last Supper “You are my friends” but was also a friend to all those in need including us!
He wants us to be his friends just as he wants to be our friend.
He loves each and everyone of us and proved his love as well as his forgiveness of our sins when he died on the cross.
Mary and Jesus’ beloved disciple John also showed their love when they were at the cross and were the only ones there with Jesus right to the very end.
I passed a poor, indian man here in Mexico. In Mexico, the indians are some of the poorest people here. (Many live in something like cardboard shacks, are malnourished, etc. I once worked with them where some didn't have electricity, inside plumbing, bathrooms!)
Anyway, I saw this man, who was sitting on a step, trying to read something. He had a little cart that was full of cardboard with a flat tire. I think most people probably won't even talk to him. I came back and asked him what he collected and gave him last month's missal and Divine Office. I asked him if he could read, and he said, "a little".
I told him I am a literacy tutor and could actually tutor him, if he needed it. I said he'd need to have a birth certificate, proof of address, to register him so that he could get the materials he needed, etc. He said he was homeless so had no proof of address. I hadn't brought my glasses but pointed to a paragraph, asking him to read, so I'd see if he really could. He read.."Truly, I say to you, whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers, you have done unto me".
I know of a number of people who go into church and immediately begin hugging people, patting them on the back, hugging their kids in church. I honestly don't think that's the "love" God's referring to. I think it's more like looking around and noticing who, in your environment, is the least of your brothers. Whatever you do to that person, realize you are doing it to Christ.
I imagine that emotional intensity is one possible fruit of grace. It’s not the only one and it’s not an essential one. God gives it to each of us to love him in different ways, for some of us through a deep emotional bond, for others through a more intellectual apprehension and appreciation (the way you might rejoice interiorly at listening to very beautiful music), for others through sheer force of will to obey. If a deep personal love for Jesus were necessary for salvation than Mother Theresa, who through no fault of her own endured a fifty-year long dark night of the soul, would be damned!
I also tend to think that a preoccupation with our emotions is an unhealthy thing. It’s not about us, it’s about God. This is why I think it’s better to talk about “holiness” than a “personal relationship.”
Right. The love we are called to have, the love that matters is most, is an act of the will. “No greater love hath a man than this, to lay down his life for his friends.” Love in the emotional sense can be a good thing when it induces us to do just that, to lay down our life for our friends. But we also have to be careful because it can lead us, too, to do evil things, to prefer worldly goods to him who is goodness itself.