You have made us for Yourself, [O Lord,] and our heart is restless, until it rests in You.
Confessions, St. Augustine of Hippo
St. Augustine lived in the 4th century in North Africa. This quote from the beginning of his spiritual autobiography makes two bold statements: “You have made us for Yourself” and “our heart is restless until it rest in You.” Taken together, those claims are an expression of the most intimate love between God and His human creatures.
Made for God
To say that we are made for God is an expression of His love for us. He made us for Himself. Just as He made Eve for Adam, so He made us for Himself.
God’s love, the love of the Trinity, is the love of communion. Divine love is not content to stay put. Where earthly love has no power to change the thing loved, heavenly love–the love shared by the Trinity–empowers the beloved to spread love.
This love is in the Trinity first. The Father conceives of the Son and loves Him. The Son, being loved, loves the Father. Their Eternal Love spirates between Them so perfectly, it becomes a separate Person, the Holy Spirit.
This communion of love is to be shared. It caused Him to create us and to continue to love us. In everything, even in our mere existence, we receive that love.
If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is brought to perfection in us.
1 John 4:12
The divine love changes what it loves into a source of more love. When God loves us, His love is not perfected in us until we love both God and others with that divine love, too.
Our hearts are restless. At times we know and accept His love. At times we return it. At other times, we are unfaithful to that love.
How can He love those who continually turn away from Him? Who see His great acts of love as so much evil? For whom anyone else would have lost all hope? Who feel no depth of gratitude but only resentment?
We need Him so much, and His love will not permit Him to abandon us. The more love He lavishes on our restless hearts, however, the more He finds hate. Our evil poisons the earth.
If we could find rest in God, the rest St. Augustine talks about, we would accept His offered love as love. We would be transformed by His love into a source of love. We would continue the most beautiful cycle of mercy. By accepting and returning love, we would cause a rebirth of the whole world.
At times this love will be beyond our understanding. Then we must cease to look for understanding. We must concentrate on love. For love is the only power. Love is the only hope.