God loves some more than others? Help!

Hi All,

In a Catholic book (and then online, after some research), I have come across several Catholics who are very comfortable declaring that God loves some people more than others. Mary is cited as as being loved “the most” and it is seen as an attack on the hierarchy in Heaven to believe that God loves us all equally. Some people equated the granting of blessings and talents as a sign of God love, and of some being loved more because they are more holy and blessed.

I found this to be very alarming and simplistic, honestly. For example, does God love me more than my friends, who show no interest in Catholicism? Does God love me more than my mentally retarded cousin? etc. Did God love Michelangelo more than a lesser artist? It’s very discouraging and seems to encourage pride.

I am perfectly content with God creating people with different capacities and talents. It seems to me that we live in a divine ecosystem, and each has a part to play. In that divine ecosystem, a Pope is not more important than the lady who coordinates Eucharistic Adoration at my parish; they both are members of the Body of Christ, each doing needed work. Doesn’t Paul discuss the importance of every member of the Body of Christ? Shouldn’t we all feel equally loved and valued because we are baptized into that most estimable body?

It seems logical that God would be more pleased with some based on their good choices and love for Him. But not that he would love one child more or less. My parents love all of my siblings equally, no matter what we do. When we disobey, we hurt our parents, but they don’t stop loving us. My parents don’t love one child more than another just because one is more obedient; they do “approve” of one more than another at times, but the love is always unconditional.

Anyway…

I realize there will be some who disagree with me on all this. However, is this a point on which we can disagree? It isn’t dogma either way, is it?

Along those lines, if something isn’t ruled on in the Catechism, is it safe to say that it’s open to interpretation? The Catechism seems to just say that God loves everyone, without comment of loving some less, or more.

Thanks for any thoughts!

This may be some comfort. Let’s say God doesn’t love some more than others - you seem fine with that notion. There’s only one alternative. Would you reject God if, in his divine wisdom that surpasses human understanding, he does love some over others? If not, then it seems like there is no point in worrying over this.

For reasons I don’t particularly understand either, God does appear to love some innately more than others. It’s all over the Old Testament with the patriarchs, and the Hebrews as his chosen people. John was known as Jesus’s beloved disciple. Several saints have certainly been given amazing gifts from even before the age of reason.

I, for one, am not deserving of his love, but I graciously accept His gift. Who am I to question how he bestows it on others? Who am I, a mere creature, if he should decide not to bestow it on me? Yet, we believe and proclaim that God loves all, and in justice gives to each the tools necessary to attain eternal life with him, an eternity of perfected love. It may not seem fair that God likely loves some more than others, but I will trust in Him.

Aquinas teaches that God loves everyone and everything with the same way-intensity, but I guess in each a special way. No “more” here, although He desires greater goods for some other others in His wisdom. Proportion

Absolutely not. The catechism is a great resource, but it does not exhaustively list all defined truths; and besides these there are truths which are morally certain, although not formally defined. There are, moreover, theological positions held in high regard by the Church, such as those generally of St. Thomas Aquinas, which should not be lightly dismissed. You will find a number of the above in the catechism, but not all of them.

Thanks for the thoughts…

As you probably know, St. Therese the Little Flower wrote a bit about this and compared the “garden of souls” to a garden of flowers. There are a variety of flowers, some larger and more “impressive” than others, but each pleases God for being what it is, and was created by God to be what it is. I think I’ll just go with that analogy because it best helps me understand this idea of “difference” in grandeur, but equal dignity. I’m a bit stubborn defending that last point because…I’m not convinced I have to give it up to stay orthodox. It sounds like this question has not been ruled on with complete clarity by the Magesterium. So I will just go with what “resonates”…

The problem with “loves me/them more,” is that it is loaded with negative connotations and might be applying a very human attitude to God. The expression may also not do justice to the total picture. For example, let’s say God “loved” the Virgin Mary more, and thus showered her with far greater graces than, say, me. However, in doing so, he blessed me infinitely because she gave birth to Jesus. So God’s great love for Mary ended up “trickling down” to me in a monumental way. He loved me phenomenally by loving Mary phenomenally. When we are joined in the Body of Christ, our gifts all benefit each other. The love God showers on one ends up getting passed around, it seems. And I would personally interpret Israel’s call, and that of the prophets in the same light.

As to whether or not I’d reject God over it, well. I didn’t convert to Catholicism because I liked Catholic doctrine. I decided they had authority, and thus had to give up some cherished non-Catholic theological positions. So I’ve had to change before to fit the magisterium. It isn’t fun to do though, and I avoid doing it, unless I absolutely have to!

One thing I’ve learned so far, is that if a Catholic doctrine bothers me, it may be because I don’t understand it. This could be due to pride and ignorance, but it could also be due to , “we just don’t have all the info.” For example…

A doctrine Catholics thought they had to accept for centuries (to my knowledge) was the idea that unbaptized infants are damned. The Church never infallibly declared this to be the case, however, in the absence of additional revelation clarifying exactly how infants would be saved, the safest viewpoint was to assume they were damned. Now, the Church allows the faithful to project more hope into that ambiguity. We still don’t know how salvation for unbaptized infants works, but we are not obliged to assume they are damned.

So…

It’s probably fair to say that we just don’t have enough information to understand quite a lot about how God works. There are ambiguities or things that “appear” to be a certain way from our limited human perspective, but it would be unwise to come to definite conclusions (particularly if we find them depressing), given the lack of information. It’s probably safest in most cases to say, “I’m going to put that one the back burner.”

I believe that as an act of Divine Will, God loves us all equally. He might like some people more than others. I know I do, and I am created in His image.

I can live with that! :slight_smile: I will have to poke around and read his writings on this topic.

Good to know…

That’s a really good point about being created in His image. God loved us all enough so that we would “come from the factory” so to speak in good shape!

One question would be…

How can you ever know if you’re totally orthodox in your thinking? Do you need to read all the Evangelical Councils?

I’ve heard it said that the Bishops are infallible when they all speak in union with the Pope. How do we know when/what those times are?

Here is what I think. With respect to whomever wrote what you read, this is strictly the author’s idea–NOTHING MORE. I’ve never read this anywhere in scripture–that God gives greater talents to those He loves more, It even sounds like a bit of heresy to me.

Now I do think that God loves Mary more and in a very special way as she is His mother. That puts her in a whole different category than the rest of us. Having said that, we are all God;s children and even though nobody–including myself or your author–knows God’s mind, I don;t think God plays favorites anymore than any earthly parent does.

While God has a plan for each of us, He gives us such free will that He insists on us asking for what we need. We have to come to the realization that we are dependent upon Him for everything. Until that time, He will burn with jealousy because we are paying attention to other ‘stupid’ things, rather than Him. He will ‘weep’ when we reap the rewards of our sins. But He will not come until we call Him.

While God created all peoples, we have only to see His favor upon Israel to know that He has a right to choose persons or peoples for Himself. The cloisters are God’s “six percent,” as well.

Remember that Jesus said that those who were entrusted with a lot would be judged more harshly than those entrusted with little. A ditchdigger has fewer responsibilities than a CEO, yet both are called to holiness in their state-in-life. The ditchdigger who prays the rosary; attends Mass with his family; and spends time with his family instead of the bars is going to be holier than the ditchdigger who squanders his pay on alcohol and abuses his friends/family. Society will reap the benefit because the children of the first will more than likely become model citizens, while those of the second may end up in jail for lack of proper guidance.

The holy CEO will assist with the material aspects of the promotion of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Look at the owner of the New Orleans Saints. He’s been a great benefactor of the St. Cecilia Dominicans. Other CEOs are riddled with scandal.

Concentrate on your relationship with God. Use of the rosary brings about “signal graces,” which are to be used for the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven. The more you pray, your attitude toward yourself and others will begin to change. Use of the Divine Mercy devotion also makes one more attentive to the needs of others, rather than one’s self. And always be sure to talk to God in your own words.

Blessings,
Cloisters

“God always liked you best!” - Bro. Smothers

I heard someone make that claim also. I prefer to think that God loves us all the same. He may have a closer relationship and be more pleased with some than others, but that would be because of our commitment or lack of to God than because of His love for us. JMUEO

God loves us differently, but His love is infinite for each and every one of us. God loves us all with an infinite love, but He loves His own Mother the most. He also loves those who do His Will more than He loves those who don’t (e.g. The Bible says that He loved Jacob and hated Esau, it also says that that He hates the wicked.). His friends, those who do His Will, are sent more crosses (crosses are a sign of His love); the saints say that God sends big crosses to His closest friends. The closer we are to God, the more He must love us, though this seems to contradict what I have said about His love being infinite for each and every one of us … though it doesn’t really contradict. God bless you.

I think you mean “ecumenical councils” (the evangelical counsels are poverty, chastity, obedience). In reality most people are probably not 100% orthodox; what matters most is that you’re willing to correct your views once you learn what the Church teaches.

As to your second question, see Lumen Gentium, no. 25:

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.(41*)

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