In the first step of the “Way of the Heart,” the spiritual pathway of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, we reflect on the fundamental truth that, “In the beginning there was Love.”
When God created the world, he had us in mind. Creation was not merely an exercise in his might and dominance, but principally an act of love.
Saint John Paul II put it eloquently in his apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio.
“God created man in His own image and likeness: calling him to existence through love, He called him at the same time for love. God is love and in Himself He lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in His own image and continually keeping it in being, God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion. Love is therefore the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.”
This profound truth remains at the heart of our own spirituality, as it is stated in our renewal documents.
“The first and most enduring word in our life of faith is the Father’s everlasting love…It is the principle and the foundation of our spiritual way. Our life starts by his love, is sustained by it, and one day will be received by that love. To acknowledge his love gives us the chance to love him in return.”
Love is inscribed in our very being as our Creator created us in love. This means that the only possible response is to love him in return and to participate in God’s ongoing mission of love and mercy. With the assurance that a benevolent Father loves us, we are able to confidently go out and spread that love to other people, especially the most vulnerable of society.
God’s personal love for us should transform our hearts, opening it up to the many challenges facing humanity.