My sister recently had her first baby and it was deeply powerful watching a younger sibling step into that new role of mother. The birth of a baby is inevitably miraculous–how could it not be? But when it’s also the birth of loved ones into parents, I found that to be so much more powerful and inspiring than I was expecting.
Watching my sister and brother-in-law go from expecting parents to parents in reality, and seeing the love for this new tiny person blossom into something tangible and tender and primal and beautiful–it’s just profound. And it brings me back to the way the Lord is looking at us, loving us, celebrating and marveling at each new development and state. He loves each new baby indescribably more than their new adoring parents do. He already loved the parents that way. Their joy at this new phase of life is a tiny drop in the pool of the Lord’s pleasure at our joy, and at the birth of a new angel in potential.
It’s hard for me to grasp how much the Lord loves me, loves all of us. But the thing that brings me the closest to understanding is witnessing and experiencing the love of parents for their children. I’m sure I’m not alone there.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
This quote often brings me to tears. Each of us, everyone, even me: we matter to the Lord. Before we even came into being, He knew who we would be and wanted and waited for us. This parallels beautifully with the feelings of expecting parents: the anticipation and wonder and love already wrapped up into this eagerly awaited little being. Except that when compared with the way the Lord actually loves us, our love is pale and shallow. And rather than seeing that as deprecating of our love or abilities, it fills me with wonder at the sheer magnitude of the Lord’s love.
I don’t think that we finite beings can ever truly comprehend the love of the Infinite God. But I find it comforting–especially during these uncertain and frightening times–comforting and awe-inspiring and thought provoking to stop and think about just how big and profound His love is. And so I will close with these passages, which say it better than I ever could.
“The nature of the Lord’s love surpasses all human understanding and is unbelievable in the extreme… To save a soul from hell the angels think nothing of giving their own lives; indeed if it were possible they would suffer hell themselves in place of that soul… They confess however that that love does not originate one little bit in themselves but that every single aspect of it does so in the Lord alone.” (Arcana Coelestia 2077)
“…the Lord’s love is directed towards the whole human race whom He wishes to save eternally and to join so completely to Himself that not a single one of them perishes.” (Arcana Coelestia 2023)
“The Lord however, in all His conflicts brought about by temptations, never fought out of self-love, that is, for Himself, but for all throughout the universe. He did not fight therefore to become the greatest in heaven, for that is contrary to Divine love. He scarcely did so to become the least. He fought solely so that all others might become something and be saved.” (Arcana Coelestia 1812)