The most that a creature can give Him is already His, and He can ask for it back, even to life itself. But not so with love; here on earth, the creature is free to refuse it. But God desires it, asks for it, claims it; that was the purpose of the creation of man. As Saint Thomas [Aquinas] puts it: “the love of God is the end of all human activities and affection.” God has proclaimed it as the first commandment, from the observance of which depends the attainment of eternal life (cf. Matthew 22:37).
He demands all of it. He wishes to be loved with all the heart, with the whole soul, with the whole mind, and with all one’s strength. And in order to gain this our love, He came down from heaven and made Himself man. Not even that sufficed, but He made Himself a beggar at the feet of His creature: “Give Me to drink.” (cf. John 4:7) And in the end He ascended the gibbet and with the voice of His Blood proclaimed the same divine longing: “I thirst!” (cf. John 19:28)
This divine call has remained alive throughout twenty centuries in the voice of the Gospel; then it made itself more urgent through the revelations of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, and in these latter times it has been intensified by means of numerous merciful manifestations such as the one which centers around the life and teaching of the Little Flower. And yet, how many souls who sincerely desire to reach God are still wandering, restless and famished, over difficult paths, while the direct, easy and secure road lies in front of them: love! Many are ardently longing to consecrate themselves to God, but are held back by some fear of who knows what austerity, as though the divine Bridegroom were thirsting more for our blood than for our love!
Not so! From Sister Consolata, Jesus asked only love, although she belonged to one of the most severely cloistered orders; love would then do all the rest. The expressions “love Me only,” “love Me always,” “love Me deeply,” “from you I ask only love,” are found repeated hundreds of times in the pages of her diary which carry the divine instructions. It is a continual, insistent, and touching invitation by the Creator Who thirsts for the love of His creature. He does not find it among the greater part of mankind, nor does He even receive it in its entirety from many of the souls who are consecrated to Him; so He goes begging for it from the little souls who better understand the longings of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and who respond to it. In fact, Jesus told Sister Consolata on October 15, 1935:
I long to be loved by innocent hearts, by the hearts of children, by hearts who will give Me all their love!(Our Lord Jesus, in private revelation given to Sister Consolata Betrone)
Read the Passion carefully. When [Peter] looked and saw Jesus, what happened? He went out and cried, cried bitterly, that he, Peter, had denied [Jesus, using] big, big words—”I have nothing to do with Him.” (cf. Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72) What did Jesus do? Jesus’ eyes met with Peter’s eyes (cf. Luke 22:61). What a living reality. What a tremendous hurt Peter gave to Jesus—yet what tender love was in the eyes of Jesus; and Peter saw that forgiveness in the eyes of Jesus, and Peter went out and cried bitterly. I read in a book that Peter cried so much there were lines in his face.
After the Resurrection, when Jesus asked Peter, “Lovest thou Me?” (cf. John 21:15-17) Peter wept. This is charity. When someone hurts you, look with kindness, never keep bitterness in your heart—take one resolution. Jesus could have said, “Peter, what are you saying?” or He could have looked with angry eyes. We receive forgiveness from Jesus [so] that we can also give that forgiveness. Keep your heart clean. If you have done something, go to confession.
When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls.(Our Lord Jesus, in private revelation given to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Diary #1602)