A few months ago, Cardinal Francis George stirred up a few feathers when he wrote in his column that we should not be upset by the fact that God loves some people more than others. As fate would have it, I came across this passage in Meister Eckhart’s sermons the other day, and it reminded me of the discussion. Today, as Protestants and Catholics try to keep the lid on in Belfast and the usual mayhem is afoot in other parts of the world, it seems like a helpful point of departure for reconciliation.
…among all creatures He does not love one more than another: for as each is wide enough to receive, in the same measure He pours Himself into it. If my soul were as capacious and as roomy as the angel of the Seraphim, who has nothing in him, God would pour Himself out into me as perfectly as into the angel of the Seraphim.
… God as being pours Himself out into all creatures, to each as much as it can take. This is a good lesson to us to love all creatures equally with all that we have received from God, and if some are by nature nearer to us by kinship or friendship, that we should still favour them equally out of divine love in regard to the same good. I sometimes seem to like one person better than another; but yet I have the same goodwill towards another whom I have never seen, but this one is more present to me, and on that account I am better able to give myself to him. Thus God loves all creatures equally and fills them with His being. And thus too, we should pour forth ourselves in love over all creatures. We often find the heathen arriving at this loving peace by their natural understanding, for a pagan teacher [Aristotle] says ‘Man is an animal kindly by nature’.
Sermon 75 in the Stuttgart edition (No. 88 in Walshe’s English translation , II, 279-80).