Our hearts are warmed when dear friends and family members "fall in love" with someone special. We know that love is the best joy of life and seek it for ourselves and others. That doesn't mean that the courting will always go well or that the relationship will lead to marriage. Perhaps the love arrangement is to simply see the beauty in the other. That's the way love is meant to be. But that's not always what some seek. Their search question is, "What can the other person do to fulfill my needs?" That kind of expectation concentrates on "me" when true love is found in seeing the good in someone else.

Love affairs are not limited to human attraction. Many of the saints and ordinary people like us can be in a love affair with God. We are sometimes overwhelmed by the wonder and beauty of creation and the impossible reality of experiencing the unknown Mystery in intimate ways within our own lives. Describing this experience often lacks words, but the love we feel penetrates to the center of our being.

Father Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991), who was the Superior General of the Society of Jesus from 1965-1983, compares our love affair with God in much the same way we would describe a human love relationship. We think about one another when we get out of bed in the morning, in the evening when our lover comes home from work; on weekends, when we just sit together reading books or watching television, in our conversations, joys, and sorrows, etc. It is a daily relationship of caring and loving even in mundane routines. We don't have to talk about these relationships. They are just part of who we are and who we are together.

Father Arrupe says our love affair with God can be very similar. Our love for God doesn't have to be only when we are in church, or when our hands are together in prayer. The relationship can be part of our ordinary everyday lives. We can live each day with the presence of God in our hearts as we would a lover who remains close to us even when not seen.

Here is a description by Father Arrupe of our love affair with God. You might like to use it as a prayer to remind you of your love for God.

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekend, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love,

stay in love,

and it will decide everything."