How can I know whether I really love God? I don’t feel anything when I say it.
That is a very good question. I have been struggling with that myself. I would say, for me, it has started with daily (continually, really) surrenduring to Jesus. At first, for me, it was just words. Then, as I’ve begun to read scripture, asking for God to speak to me, really paying attention in Mass, not only to the homily, but most especially to what takes place when I receive Christ into myself, and really understanding the things I need to confess (for example, recently I confessed allowing the rituals to become a “god” of sorts for me instead of a means to God).
I hope this helps. I’m by no means an expert. I can only share with you what I’ve experienced thus far.
Love isn’t necessarily feelings, love is the choices you make, for instance to obey God.
Jesus in Matthew 25 verse 40, that the practical generous acts towards others are also tken by Him as being done for Him…that practical love for others is also love for Him.
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory.
Catena Aurea » Matthew 25:31-45
34 Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome,
36 lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.”
37 Then the upright will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you?
39 When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?”
40 And the King will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me."
Jesus says, “If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him.” [John 14:23] “You shall love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength.” “What does God ask of you? Only this: to venerate God, to follow all God’s ways, to love God, to serve God with all your heart and all your soul, to keep the commandments and laws of God that are for your good.” [Deuteronomy 6:5, 10:12]
God, love and glorify Yourself in us
God, how can I fulfill Your commandments to love others and to love and worship God above all?
Unlike holy souls who effuse great joy and praise, my attempts to love and worship You seem very poor. I am child of a scientific and empirical era in a world of physical realities and challenges. I desire faith in Your loving action in temporal affairs even where it is hidden. I desire to praise and love in whatever way You desire, however little understanding I have of Your ways and truth.
It seems to me that loving You is about choices. Jesus witnessed that our salvation depends upon love and service of God in other persons. He proclaimed that, “Whatever you do for even the least of my little ones, you do for Me” who am God. Therefore, we love and worship You in our care of others.
You command that we love others enough to strive even unto death of something of ourselves for sake of their welfare, as Jesus did. I ask You to love others wholeheartedly in my thoughts, prayers, my words and actions. Please bring about blessings for them even in my worst failures to witness Your love. Please develop my trust in Your loving action in temporal affairs even where it remains hidden.
We glorify You in the Eucharist, that summit of worship, petition, and thanksgiving, God’s own offering and fulfillment through Son and Spirit, with the whole Body of Christ. We worship You in the Eucharist as individuals, yet as brothers and sisters of the community. Let me, let us, thus love and worship You in communion.
Blessed be Jesus, who gives us redemption and Eucharist. Blessed be the Spirit who channels His Gift, and gives us creative ways to praise and love God. Blessed be God who is able to give Yourself the honor and praise that we desire to give You.
God alone can appreciate the depths of God, therefore love and delight Yourself in us so that we truly love You. I ask that whatever my activity or state of mind, You will love and adore Yourself in me, our God. Delight Yourself within me in every moment of my existence. This is possible to You for whom “nothing is impossible.” [Genesis 8:14]
Although it is necessary, being catholic is NOT enough on its own. We must accept the love of God from his most Holy Spirit who speaks to our heart from within. Many catholics choose to ignore this then wonder why they do not feel the love of God! You must prepare to deny yourself and even the catholic doctrine sometimes to accept the light of God which is his love! Do not travel down the road of spiritual dryness with the majority of catholics, instead listen to God’s orders from your heart and act upon them. May you follow God’s will. God Bless!
Spiritual dryness can come from God. When it does, it is a good thing in order to help us along to spiritual maturity. We need to be committed to the Lord and what we should be doing whether we have good feelings or not. If we seek good feelings, then we are not seeking God. Love shows itself with commitment and obedience. If the Lord allows you to have good feelings that is fine…but do not seek them.
''Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. And all these thing shall be added unto you". You are right in a way ‘Dorothy’, but you must feel the love to know what it really is, otherwise it would be fake and imaginary!! There is NO spiritual dryness with God, only suffering, the devil is the only spiritually dry one; and whoever he takes captive!!
Love is what you do, not what you feel. Jesus said He would know if we loved Him if we kept His commands. Feed the hungry, forgive all who ask, pray and proclaim your faith.
When a man and woman want to marry what brings them together??? is it not the FEELING of love? It is the same with God who attracts us to him with his love, warmth, and light!! Otherwise what difference is there to worshipping satan, who gives no FEELING of love and joy and happiness?? God help you
When I commit a mortal sin I feel like I have broken someone’s heart and that the life inside of me has drained away.
It is like asking me when did I feel I truly loved my children.
It was one night that my son was very ill and he couldn’t sleep, everytime he cried it hurt and that was when I knew.
Yes, God begins with feelings, and so does the attraction of man and woman. They also use their intellect to see if they could be compatible with that person they have feelings for. (…or they should.)
Then, as time passes in the relationship between us and God he tests us by “dryness”, or lack of feelings.
Will we still love Him by commitment and olbedience then? That is the test, and if we undergo it with commitment and acts of the will of loving God, then we spiritually mature. That is the true test of love.
It is the same with a married man and woman. At first is the honeymoon experience, then as time passes they will be given trials by the Lord that can be challenging. How they handle these trials will show whether their love deepens, putting God first, or whether it will fade, causing resentments, bitterness, etc.
Because God loves us, as written about by the Doctors of the Church on prayer, He allows dry periods without feelings to be the true test of love. He also knows when to let up and console us with the feeling of His love.
We need to trust Him first and foremost in all things!
Love is what you do. No matter what subjective feeling you have, if you beat your wife or cheat on your husband, you do not love them. You may have some emotional response you, personally, define as “love” but love is action, it is objective.
As to the Liar, I’m pretty sure many obsessive attachments the stalker identified as “love” have been generated by him.
I hope God helps me, also. As well as you.