“We, being finite, could not be the object of infinite love. God loves us on account of His infinite goodness, which finds a wonderful reflex in us by grace. He loves Himself in us, and therefore us in Himself. He loves us on account of His own Divine Nature, which He has communicated to us by grace, and therefore His love for us is most intimate and Divine.”
Job said, “What is man that Thou shouldst magnify him? Or the son of man that thou shouldst set Thy heart on him?” (Jb 7:17) “Doubtless,” says St. Bernard, “man is as vanity, and as nothing; but should he be absolutely nothing who is thus glorified by God? . . . Since Thou hast said, ‘Where thy treasure is, there also is thy heart,’ must we not then be Thy treasure, if Thy heart is with us? How, then, can we be a mere nothing if we are Thy treasure?”
“Beauty is the principal object of pure love. If, then, God embraces our soul with such ineffable love, we may conclude from this that our soul must have received a great and heavenly beauty from grace; for Divine love not only estimates things at their true value, but it is also powerful enough to make the object worthy of being so loved.”
“Human love presupposes love in its object; Divine love, on the other hand, works in the soul and produces it: for as human nature possesses nothing but what it receives from God, He can love the soul only inasmuch as He makes it partake of His infinite goodness and beauty.”
“Since, therefore, the love of God works in us by grace, and rests upon us on account of it, it must be grace that contains this beauty, and confers it upon us. Grace impresses upon the soul, as on a mirror, a perfect image of the Divine Nature, so that he who would represent to himself the beauty of a soul in a state of grace ought first to have beheld God Himself in His Divine perfections.”
“‘To a soul in a state of grace,’ says St. Ambrose, ‘God speaks as He did once to His chosen city: Behold, Jerusalem, I have painted thy walls in a splendour of light.’ Blosius, the great mystic of the sixteenth century, says that it is certain that if we could behold the beauty of a soul adorned with Divine grace, we should be enraptured with delight and wonder.”
Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).