I know that God "loves" me, but does the nature of God's love include what we humans would call "a constant, strong, and genuine affection"?

I am asking this because in Catholic church, God's love is "caritas". "caritas" is love that is in will that is not dependent on emotion. And I am having a problem with it. I take "caritas" as love without genuine affection towards its recipients, a.k.a. "cold love". Like, I sometimes hear Christians saying "I love my neighbour, but I don't like them"; they perform various acts of charity for their neighbours, but they don't like their neighbour. They do acts of charity in their commitment to keep the commandments, but if there is no commandments, they would rather not carry out the charity for their neighbours. In terms of "caritas", such Christian do love his neighbour through his action, yet such love is love without genuine affection towards its recipients. I would call it "a cold love"; I also feel that such love is a fake love - love missing its essence. And sometimes I do wonder if God's love for me ("caritas") is, in fact, a cold love.

so my question is:

I do know that God "loves" me, but does the nature of God's love include what we would call "a constant, strong, and genuine affection"? (I know that God doesn't experience emotions like affection, but I am wondering if the nature of God's love for me includes what we humans would call "a constant, strong, and genuine affection" )

Please answer according to Catholic understanding of God's love.

  • "I know that God doesn't experience emotions like affection" -- how do you know this?
    – Flimzy
    Jan 6, 2016 at 12:44
  • Hello, God's impassibility implies that God doesn't have emotions like us humans do
    – Domenico
    Jan 6, 2016 at 14:38
  • I see. Thanks for explaining. I don't really see how that follows, but now I understand your thought process.
    – Flimzy
    Jan 6, 2016 at 14:45
  • @jdschneider is it too far fetched to say that He has always felt and will always feel affection for us? Indeed, while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but he was an infant, then a child, then a man, and was dead and then was raised to life. He grew thirsty and weary from traveling. It seems like you're drawing false conclusions.
    – Andrew
    Jan 6, 2016 at 23:51
  • @Andrew I agree that God has strong affection for us, and that's what I believe as well. But sometimes when people discuss about "caritas" (when, in the New Testament, it was mentioned that "God is love", "caritas" was the word used for the English translation of "love), some people have tendency to treat "caritas" as an action, which is different than emotions like affection. When people say "I love my neighbours, but I don't like them", they are saying that they love their neighbour through their action although they don't have affection for them.
    – Domenico
    Jan 7, 2016 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


The Catechism says

  1. God's love for Israel is compared to a father's love for his son. His love for his people is stronger than a mother's for her children. God loves his people more than a bridegroom his beloved; his love will be victorious over even the worst infidelities and will extend to his most precious gift: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son."

    Jn 3:16; cf. Hos 11:1; Is 49:14-15, 62:4-5; Ezek 16; Hos 11

  1. The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the "six days", from the less perfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures and takes care of each one, even the sparrow. Nevertheless, Jesus said: "You are of more value than many sparrows", or again: "of how much more value is a man than a sheep!"

    Lk 12:6-7; Mt 12:12

  1. 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. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man.

    Cf. Gen 1:27; 1 Jn 4:8, 16.

Those references describe what seems to me to be a "constant, strong and genuine affection".

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