This is a question I keep pondering. The short answer is, if God is love, then doesn’t he have to have emotions? At the same time, I cannot fathom a God who would feel pain from our sins, especially the “hidden sins” that we don’t want to acknowledge to ourselves, and still create us. Why would he go through the constant stabs to his heart?
At the same time, I think he experiences great joy in our efforts, even when they are not wholesome efforts. I think he loves to watch us grow and to learn from even the worst experiences. I’m not saying that he is sadistic. I’m saying that I think he delights in how we exercise our cognitive skills and learn from our experiences.
I think he longs for us to grow in our curiosity of him. He longs for us to long to know him. He longs for our experience to turn our eyes to greater things; invisible, sacred things. It is for this purpose that he created us, to share himself with us. It is our innate longing; our deepest desire. Because we do not understand our own yearnings and desires, because we cannot see the invisible, we turn our hearts to other things. These other things hurt us; hurt others. These other things do not fill the longing in our hearts, our longing to see Jesus face to face.
While we cannot see Jesus face to face in this life, we can get closer. The mystics tell us of the path to holiness, the path to standing atop Mt. Sinai with the great I AM. The process starts with meditating on things of God, the things that he has revealed to us. In time, he will pull us into deeper forms of prayer; deeper experiences with the one who loves us.
So, what are we waiting for? In my opinion, we are waiting until the time is right, the time when we have prepared ourselves for God when it is him who is to prepare us. We do not want to go through the process of letting him make us holy. We do not want to see the gunk that hides beneath our exterior. We do not want to face things that our pride is not ready to see.
Spend some time talking to God about your longings, your broken dreams, your desire for fulfillment in this life. Ask him to assist you with your fears of the sacred, of what must happen to you if you are to be sanctified. Spend some time pondering his goodness and love; pondering his greatness and complexity. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you more fully enter into this path of deeper love and fulfillment.
Ms. Debra Weldon, O.P.