Whatsoever may excite you to love

I till the ancient fields to find hidden seeds that lay dormant there. I have been contemplating a theme that 16th Century Teresa of Avila said about prayer:

… we must remember that the business of prayer does not consist in thinking much, but in loving much. Do, therefore, whatsoever may excite you most to love.

In respect to prayer – I have taken this to mean “do whatsoever may excite you most to love Jesus.” For a person who “thinks too much” (as I am apt to do), it is a wonderful invitation to be free to allow ourselves to “excite” our hearts to love God as best and as creatively as possible. In deed as the Westminster Catechism reads:

The chief end of mankind is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

This theme of being made for praise and excited love is found in an antecedent source – as 4th Century Augustine begins his Confessions:

You arouse [us] to take joy in praising you for you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.

As he continues he soon prays:

Who will help me, so that you [God] will come into my heart and inebriate it, to the end that I may forget my evils and embrace you, my one good?

It is an unusual choice of words to ask that our heart be “inebriated” in order to embrace the love of God; but this is because Augustine realizes his need for God:

Too narrow is the house of my soul for you to enter into it: let it be enlarged by you.

In the early 18th Century Susanna Wesley, the mother of notable John and Charles Wesley, wrote to one of their other siblings saying:

Contrition… which proceeds from our love of God, surely comes when we meditate frequently on such subjects as will excite, cherish, and increase our love for [God].

What excites your love for God in Christ?

May you contemplate this theme as you grow to love the One who made a way back to love the One who made us for Himself by His good pleasure and for His good will.

Psalmic Therapy for the Passionate Love of God

It is helpful to go to the Psalms for Psalmic Therapy, as James Houston puts it.  In commenting on the 27 years it took Augustine to compile his massive Exposition of the Psalms, Paul Burns writes,

The power of the Psalms to instill and to express profound and passionate love for God is an important corrective to [our modern age].


About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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