I Can’t Love God, I Can Only Want to Love God

by | Apr 21, 2020 | Blogs, Spirituality

God, I don’t love you how you love me.
I can’t, more exactly.
Can’t seem to give a love
That’s unconditional.

I love what you have given me-
Absolutely yes.
Those times where you
overwhelmed my heart,
Throbbing in my chest.
Your grace like a warm breeze
Blowing through an old open window-
So close.

But to love you God,
Just you.
What the hell does that even mean?
Not for what I get from you.
But for you?

You want to teach me, I know:
Slowly removing sensual comforts;
Thoughts of security and clarity;
Even feelings of consolation
So I don’t love these
More than I love you.

When these are gone
I’m left with only myself, you
And a new invitation
to generosity.

I think a parent knows best
What it means to love someone purely,
Not for what they get from them.

A parent
With a child to love
Who yells and screams
And never says thank you
And can’t really give you anything
Except its vulnerable existence.

Now I’m invited to parent the infant Christ
The vulnerable Christ
The truly human Christ
“like his brothers and sisters in every respect…”1

“This is the mystery of God,
Who is no benevolent almighty, lavishing gifts upon his creatures from afar, but love seeking intimacy;
Love that is vulnerable
Delivered into our hands to dispose of as we choose…
Christ crucified in weakness.”2

It’s hard,
To love this Christ.
And some days I don’t understand
Why God can’t give me something
Like I felt before,
Which made the love so effortless.

But then one day,
Your sweet face
With infant’s eyes unburnt by the sun
Look up at me,
And all I feel is utterly flushed
Ravishing joy
Tears falling
In love
At the beauty of you.

“Hold me” you say, without words.
“I depend on you.”
“I trust you.”

This is new
And now I see
What I had to lose;
For you,
Just you.

You’ve won me over.
You can have everything.
“It’s all yours,
you gave it to me
And now I give it back to you.”4

Then the mystery begins to peek in
And smile,
Because I am being saved.


Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

  1. Hebrews 14.5
  2. urrows, Ruth. Guidelines for Mystical Prayer. Danville, NJ: Dimension Books, 1980, p.4.
  3. Luke 17:33.
  4. St. Ignatius, Suscipe.

Chris Williams, SJ

cwilliamssj@thejesuitpost.org   /   All posts by Chris