‘Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love… this is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.’ (1 John 4:7-10) A very important definition of our love. To love God means that we mirror God’s love. When we become open enough to reflect and start carrying his self-giving. The point is not our activity, what we do or can do when we love, though it is part of it. Rather, our ability to love is about reflecting God’s ‘love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.’ This love means that we slow down. We even stop loving in our own ways. It is about become ‘standstill’ and observant of God’s love for us.
To love in this way is ‘to have known God.’ The Johannine definition of love is to realise that love is never in the vacuum of human feelings. Love is always linked through a mysterious thread to the fact that Jesus came ‘to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.’ If love is like a sea, there is always an undercurrent, a mirror-meaning underneath love: ‘taking our sins away.’ This is the deep echo of our human existence. It is resounding as our existential ‘unconscious’.
That is why, if life is examined, time and again, our love should stop for a prayer. If our loves ‘turns around’, and listens to its sub-conscious, we will always find God there to be prayed to. We hardly recognise it, but love is a synonym for prayer. An imperative to pray.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..