If you were alive in the days of the great sweeping changes in the Church following the Second Vatican Council (many of those changes, by the way, illegitimately introduced), you probably remember the phrase "God is Love" bandied about everywhere. It became kind of a rallying cry for modernist-minded reformers in the Church Hell bent — and we do mean Hell bent — on transforming the Church into something completely alien to Her tradition.
Now, to be certain, the phrase is perfectly true and beautiful. It is from St. John's Epistle. The issue isn't the scriptural passage. The issue is the constant distortion of the scriptural passage. As we said, it became something of a rallying cry for change, as in: Throw out Latin because, well, God is Love; bring in guitars, because, well, God is Love; we don't have to talk about contraception, because, well, God is Love.
The modernist crowd missed (or deliberately ignored — we'll leave that to God) the whole meaning of what is actually meant by "God is Love."
Love is directed toward the other, for the sake of the other. Saint Paul understood this perfectly clearly when he said, "Love does not seek its own interests." Within the mysterious inner life of the Holy Trinity, which is God, a triune relationship of eternal otherness, there is a complete giving of self to the other. The Father eternally begets the Son. The Son is always reflecting the fullness of the Father. The Spirit unveils the Son, the Word. It is one explosion of other-directedness, flowing back on itself, and out to the other, like powerful, distinct currents in a powerful, gigantic ocean, flowing into one another; or like rays of super-intense light and heat all shining back on each other, creating one brilliant glow.
Every analogy falls short because we have no earthly experience of this most basic truth. The life of the Trinity is our model for life. We need to be imitators of this divine life, of abandonment for the sake of the other. As Our Blessed Lord declares, anyone who would be My follower must deny his very self.
There is only one very narrow path to Heaven, and that is self-sacrificial love. Ever wonder what those candles on the altar represent inside Catholic churches? They represent the "narrow way." Of all the space inside a church building, there is only one narrow way to the Father, and that is through the altar, the sacrifice which is Christ Jesus, unveiled to us by the Spirit. When's the last time you were at a Church of Nice parish and heard anything like that? Uh, Never?
But you have probably heard a lot of "God is Love" gobbledygook — which is to say, distorted truth. But this is the stock in trade of modernists and progressives and liberals: Say familiar-sounding things with familiar-sounding passages from Scripture and allow people to attach their own meanings to things, their own interpretations. That's how you get confusion. And we certainly have a lot of that.
The Holy Trinity is the foundational reality of the Christian faith. There is nothing more basic than God as He is in Himself. The Jews don't believe. The Muslims rail against Him. The rest of the world has no concept, or probably even interest. But we know. To us, baptized in Christ, the fullness of the mystery has been revealed — not because we are deserving and worthy, but because God ordained it for His own reasons.
It is our duty, our calling to bring this truth the world that God is Love. We need to tell the Jews that they need to recognize Christ as the Messiah so they can have access to the Father. We need to tell the Muslims that they are suffering under a false religion comprised of a mixed bag of Christian heresies, that they do not offer true worship to God. Islam is, in fact, incapable of offering true worship. And the whole of humanity needs to be baptized into the One True Church outside of which salvation is not possible.
God IS love, indeed. He offers us participation in His Eternal life, for everlasting. This is can be comprehended in the Mass, can be revealed to us on the altar.
How much more can God love us? He can't love us anymore than He does because God IS love. All we need to do is accept it.