“The real God of unrestricted love corresponds to the Jesus of my journey.” – Brennan Manning

“My experience of His furious love often fills me with a fury as well when I hear well-known preachers and televangelists distorting Abba’s image. Jesus says, ‘Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you’ (John 15:4, Message). Home is a place of welcoming love, nonjudgmental acceptance, accompanied by many signs of affection. His invitation to intimacy is startling, contrary to all the pontifications of certain religious leaders and champions of deuteronomic morality. Their unbending rule-keeping petrifies His furious compassion. This should not be so.

The awesome love of our invisible God has become both visible and audible in Jesus Christ, the glory of the only Son filled with enduring love. The apostle Paul prays for us all in Ephesians 3:17-19 (NASB):

‘That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.’

Do you hear what Paul is saying? The love of Christ is beyond knowledge. We’ve got to let go of our impoverished, circumcised, traditionalistic, legalistic, human perceptions of God and open ourselves to the God in Jesus Christ. If we will, the promise is that we will be filled up with the fullness of God. That is truly good news!

So much of what was presented to me as real in bygone days, I now see as fictitious. The splenetic god of alternating moods, the prejudiced god partial to Catholics, the irritated god disgusted with believers, the warrior god of the ‘just’ war, the fickle god of casuistic morality, tut-tutting our little weaknesses, the pedantic god of the spiritually sophisticated, the myriad of gods who imprisoned me in the house of fear; I could go on.

Von Balthasar’s credo rings true to me: ‘Love alone is credible.’ The real God of unrestricted love corresponds to the Jesus of my journey.”

– Brennan Manning, “The Furious Longing of God”

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