CCC 214 God, “HE WHO IS”, revealed himself to Israel as the one “abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”.1 These two terms express summarily the riches of the divine name. In all his works God displays, not only his kindness, goodness, grace and steadfast love, but also his trustworthiness, constancy, faithfulness and truth. “I give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness.”2 He is the Truth, for “God is light and in him there is no darkness”; “God is love”, as the apostle John teaches.3
CCC 221 But St. John goes even further when he affirms that “God is love”:4 God’s very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret:5 God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange.
CCC 457 The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who “loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins”: “the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world”, and “he was revealed to take away sins”:6
Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?7
CCC 458 The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God’s love: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”8 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”9
CCC 604 By giving up his own Son for our sins, God manifests that his plan for us is one of benevolent love, prior to any merit on our part: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.”10 God “shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”11
CCC 614 This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices.12 First, it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience.13
CCC 733 “God is Love”14 and love is his first gift, containing all others. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”15
CCC 735 He, then, gives us the “pledge” or “first fruits” of our inheritance: the very life of the Holy Trinity, which is to love as “God [has] loved us.”16 This love (the “charity” of 1 Cor 13) is the source of the new life in Christ, made possible because we have received “power” from the Holy Spirit.17
CCC 1428 Christ’s call to conversion continues to resound in the lives of Christians. This second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole Church who, “clasping sinners to her bosom, [is] at once holy and always in need of purification, [and] follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.”18 This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a “contrite heart,” drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first.19
CCC 1604 God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love.20 Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.’”21
CCC 2822 Our Father “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”22 He “is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish.”23 His commandment is “that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”24 This commandment summarizes all the others and expresses his entire will.
1 Ex 34:6.
2 Ps 138:2; cf. Ps 85:11.
3 I Jn 1:5; 4:8.
4 l Jn 4:8, 16.
5 Cf. I Cor 2:7-16; Eph 3:9-12.
6 I Jn 4:10; 4:14; 3:5.
7 St. Gregory of Nyssa, Orat. catech 15: PG 45, 48B.
8 I Jn 4:9.
9 Jn 3:16.
10 I John 4:10; 4:19.
11 Rom 5:8.
12 Cf. Heb 10:10.
13 Cf. Jn 10:17-18; 15:13; Heb 9:14; 1 Jn 4:10.
14 1 Jn 4:8,1.
15 Rom 5:5.
16 1 Jn 4: 12; cf. Rom 8:23; 2 Cor 1:21.
17 Acts 1:8; cf. 1 Cor 13.
18 LG 8 # 3.
19 Ps 51:17; cf. Jn 6:44; 12:32; 1 Jn 4:10.
20 Cf. Gen 1:27; 1 Jn 4:8, 16.
21 Gen 1:28; cf. 1:31.
22 1 Tim 2:3-4.
23 2 Pet 3:9; cf. Mt 18:14.
24 Jn 13:34; cf. 1 Jn 3; 4; Lk 10:25-37.