Pope Francis: “It is more difficult to let God love us, than to love Him!”

From Pope Francis’ Friday morning homily, for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Tenderness! But the Lord loves us tenderly. The Lord [knows] that beautiful science of caresses, the tenderness of God. He does not love us with words. He comes close—closeness—and gives us His love with tenderness. Closeness and tenderness! The Lord loves us in these two ways, He draws near and gives all His love even in the smallest things: with tenderness. And this is a powerful love, because closeness and tenderness reveal the strength of God’s love.

… It is more difficult to let God love us, than to love Him! The best way to love Him in return is to open our hearts and let Him love us. Let Him draw close to us and feel Him close to us. This is really very difficult: letting ourselves be loved by Him. And that is perhaps what we need to ask today in the Mass: “Lord, I want to love You, but teach me the difficult science, the difficult habit of letting myself be loved by You, to feel You close and feel Your tenderness!” May the Lord give us this grace.

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Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.