In this country we read in the epistle for today that St John says: "God is love, and they who dwell in love dwell in God, and God in them"…..
'God is Love', and this for four reasons.
The first reason is: God pursues all creatures with His love, that they may desire to love God. If I were asked what God is, I would now answer: 'God is a good that pursues all creatures with love so that they may pursue Him in turn'—so great is the joy God feels in being pursued by creatures.
Secondly, all creatures pursue God with their love, for no one is so evil as to commit sin for the sake of evil: he does so rather out of loving desire. If a man slays another, he does so not in order to do evil; he thinks that as long as the other lives, he will not be at peace with himself: accordingly he will seek his desire in peace, for peace is something we love. So all creatures pursue God with love, for 'God is love', and all creatures desire love. If a stone had reason, it would have to pursue God with love. If you were to ask a tree why it bore fruit, if it had reason, it would say: 'I renew myself in the fruit in order to approach my origin in the renewal, for it is lovely to be near the origin'. God is the origin and is Love. Therefore the soul can never be satisfied but with love. 'Love is God'. St Augustine says: 'Lord, if you were to give me everything that you can give I would not be satisfied unless you gave me yourself….
Thirdly I say 'God is Love', for God has scattered His love among all creatures and yet is One in Himself. Since there is something lovable in all creatures, in every one, therefore every creature, as far as endowed with reason, loves something in another that is like itself….. Now since something desirable appears in every creature, therefore people love now this and now that. Now put aside 'this' and 'that', and what remains is nothing but God….
In the fourth place I say 'God is Love', because He must necessarily love all creatures with His love, whether they know it or not. Accordingly I will say something I last said on Friday: I will never pray to God for His gifts, nor will I ever thank Him for His gifts, for if I were worthy to receive His gifts He would have to give them to me whether He would or not. Therefore I will not pray to Him for His gifts, since He must give, but I will surely pray to Him to make me worthy to receive His gifts, and I will thank Him for being such that He has to give. Therefore I say "God is Love", for He loves me with the love with which He loves Himself and if anyone deprived Him of that, they would deprive Him of His entire Godhead….
‘They who dwell in Love are in God, and God is in them'. If I were asked where God is, I should reply: 'God is everywhere'. If I were asked where the soul is that dwells in Love, I should reply: 'She is everywhere'. For God loves, and the soul that dwells in Love is in God and God is in her: and since God is everywhere and she is in God, she is not half in and half out of God; and since God is in her, the soul must necessarily be everywhere, for God who is everywhere is in her. God is everywhere in the soul, and she is everywhere in God.