How do I remain in God’s love? Jesus instructs us in the way of loving others with God’s love:
Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.John 15:9-11
Remaining takes fortitude, awareness, and constant surrender on my part. These are the “commandments” given to me to support my remaining in God’s love. Much hinges on the word “remain”, which John uses frequently in his Gospel. God’s love is given unconditionally as a grace, but remaining in that love is indeed a matter of keeping certain commandments.
Here is how it works: God’s love can truly dwell in me and become my “possession” only in the measure that I give it away. If I resist it or try to cling to it, it will never work its way into my heart, body, and mind. But if I give it away as an act of love, then I get more of it, entering into a delightful stream of grace. If I give away divine love, then it “remains” in me.
This is the great Catholic doctrine of grace and the cooperation with grace. Law and commandment allow me to participate in the love that God is. It’s a play of both conditional and unconditional love. And it’s precisely why I can grow in love.
Lord, thank you for showing me how to love for which I am ever grateful.