Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

God’s love is immense and immeasurable

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Cistercians_webThe love of God with which he loved us before the foundation of the world and chose us in his beloved Son is itself the source and origin of all the good things which were bestowed upon us on the day of our creation, the day of our redemption, and the day of our justification and sanctification. But in addition to these, it is also the source of the things which will be bestowed upon us on the day of our glorification, when God will be glorified in us and we in him.
God did not love us insignificantly or indifferently or meagerly, but fully and richly; not with a feigned or false love, but purely and sincerely; not just in appearance, not just outwardly, as though it were only on the surface, but inwardly, from the bottom of his heart; not in word and tongue, but in deed and truth.
If you want to know the extent of this love, its greatness is such that only God can measure it; as far as we are concerned, it is immense and immeasurable. If it were possible for us to comprehend its extent in some way with all the saints, it is so great that we can comprehend it only with the greatest difficulty-although in reality [its comprehension] is wholly beyond our abilites. Its height and depth, its length and its breadth are beyond anything we can describe or conceive.
Its height is the sublimity of glory which God has pre­pared for those who love him, the glory, that is, which the eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, and which has not arisen in the heart of man. Its depth is the empty­ing of himself by the only-begotten Son of God and the descent of such majesty from the bosom of the Father to the shame of the cross, from the source of life to the end of life, from the highest point to the lowest, from heaven to hell, from one extremity to the other. Who is able to conceive these two extremes? Who can comprehend the height from which he came, or the vast distance between the summit from which he descended and the lowest depths to which he descended? The height of this love, therefore, is the ennobling of mankind; its depth is God's descent into this world-a descent which, as we have said, was from the highest point to the lowest, from the beginning to the end.
Its length, however, has neither beginning nor end. Just as his love for us has no ending, neither does it have any beginning, for the mercy of the Lord is from eternity to eternity upon them that fear him. Its breadth is wide and far-reaching and shows itself in the way in which his benevolence and kindness are of universal benefit. The benefit of his benevolence is that he wants everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth; that of his kindness is that he did not even spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all. It is his kindness, however, which we should value more highly because it extends not only to all things, but through all things, for in giving us his only Son has he not also given us all things with him?
Baldwin of Forde
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