“I know your heart and I know that you love me. That alone counts, for love forgives much!” (Inner Word)
These words of the Father remind us of that golden phrase attributed to St. Augustine: “Love and do what you want”.
According to this maxim, love is the ultimate criterion for acting and, in itself, leads to the right action. Consequently, our task is to seek true love, to recognise it, to drink from it and to live in it.
Now, we can apply this also to the words we heard initially. If our heart belongs completely to God, if He has conquered it with His love, if we have corresponded with the surrender of our heart and remain in love (1 Jn 4:16b), then the Father can be sure of our love.
He knows our heart and He knows that we never want to depart from Him. Our heart has become our Father’s throne, because we have given it to Him.
Together with St. Peter we can say: “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you” (Jn 21:17b). And the Father will answer us: “Yes, I know your heart and I know that you love me.”
From this certainty flows a great freedom, for a heart under the guidance of God’s love leaves all fears and earthly worries behind. It has set out on the right path, and whatever comes – be it what it may – it will be able to see and face it in this love.
From our Father’s perspective, the essential has already happened in this heart. What He is looking for are hearts totally surrendered to Him, because He knows that in all situations they will know how to act in His love. And that is what counts! Even if this person has not yet overcome all his weaknesses and does not achieve all the goals he would like to achieve, love will find the right way, and “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet 4:8)!
The Father is very pleased with a heart that belongs to Him, because it has found the sure compass, so that He can entrust His desires to it.
What did the Lord say to Peter when he assured Him that he loved Him?
“Feed my sheep” (Jn 21:17).
And what will he say to us?