There is a profound truth in speaking of God creating the universe “out of nothing”. When it comes to God’s creative act, nothing is first “there”, as it were. But we can put that more positively by saying that God creates “out of love”. All that is, has been loved into being, so that at the heart of all created being is the sheer and unrestricted Love that God is. To that degree, to exist is to have been, and to continue to be, loved into being. All the goodness of the created universe is the manifestation of sheer loving on the part of God. As St Thomas puts it, “the love of God is infusing and creating the goodness in things” (STh I, q. 20, a. 2). To understand this is to recognize everything and everyone as a gift, emanating from the creative Love that God is. We are what we are because of the original Love that wells up from the heart of God.

God’s Love presupposes no human merits. The Father’s love needs no “raw material”, not even good behaviour on our part, to show forth his love. Love is pure gift, a sheer giving that precedes any worth, merit, and claim. Love is at the origin of our being and guides the development of all that we are. At every juncture is invites us to participate through our own action in the Love that God is:
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God, for God is love (1 Jn 4:7f).

We are, therefore, not spectators but participants. Love moves us to be caught up and carried forward in a current of love-life more real than the air we breathe.

Anthony Kelly CSsR