“We love because He first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19).

We must realize that love for God is not primarily defined by feelings. These are usually very fleeting and can change from one moment to the next. It is also common for us to feel that our hearts are cold and we fear that we do not love our Father enough.

This is where our will comes into play: we want to love God. The Letter of St. John gives us the most convincing reason: “Because He first loved us.”

So it is a matter of responding to our Father, whose love for us precedes our love for Him. A young woman expressed this to me in a very beautiful way. She said to me, “I want to love the Lord as much as He deserves”.

We could find countless reasons why we should love the Lord, reasons why He deserves to be loved. But in the end, we will always come back to the starting point: “Because He first loved us.” This is the greatest reason to love Him, to seek Him, and to serve Him with all our will.

It is also a simple answer when people ask us why we love God. They may then be interested to know more, so we can have a fruitful conversation.

And this love for our Heavenly Father should also extend to our brothers, as St. John tells us later in his letter:

“And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also” (1 Jn 4:21).