One of the hardest things to do after stopping practicing the faith for many years, is learning to fall in love with God again.
I have always thought I still loved God, but it was more of an intellectual acknowledgement that yes He exists and yes I have a duty to love Him and worship Him. However for many years it was a cold love. I never realised before just how hurt and rejected I felt by God and the Church for these past 6 years after I was denied entrance to a religious order in Croatia because I had depression 2 years beforehand while in the local Diocesan Seminary.
It was only at my retreat while in New Norcia, that I realised how much I had stopped trusting and loving God because of that experience. I got to reflecting on how leading an unchaste life, being actively homosexual and getting into relationships that I had been deliberately pushing God out of my life - but all I had done was hurt myself. I had denied myself sanctifying grace available to me in the sacraments. I had tried to push God so far out of my life apart from on an intellectual level because I felt like a jolted lover. I felt that God had let me down, rejected me and hurt me when I wanted so bad to be a monk and a priest.
Now I have realised just how childish it was. I am starting to see how in the bigger picture, God uses all things for His greater Glory - even though it may appear painful at the time. If I had've entered religious life at that stage in life then, I probably would not have lasted due to personality issues, or even worse, I may have become a very bad religious. I was very arrogant, self righteous and thought I had to change everything in the world but myself.
Now I am older I have mellowed out a lot. I have had to grow through my sorrows and trials in love. Also being in a relationship with someone 11 years younger than me has taught me a lot about patience, as well as unconditional love. A lot of the issues we had together of trust, and the patience I needed everyday to love someone who without meaning to would hurt me a lot or not be able to reciprocate my love equally, made me reflect on how it is analogous to my relationship with God. It reminded me how God told the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute to make him understand about unfaithful relationships.
For many years now I have been the harlot, quite literally. I have not lived my baptismal promises and I was using lust to replace the love of God that I had when I first converted to the faith as a teenager. But now God has gentle called me back to Him, taken me back through the Sacrament of Confession and washed away my sins. God has called me to fall in love with him again, but this time with a more mature love.
When I was in novitiate with the Salvatorian Fathers I remember reading Mechtilde of Magdeburg and falling in love with her poetry and being introduced to Bridegroom Mysticism. Before then, I had never thought of God as the Bridegroom of the soul - but it was a concept I fell in love with instantly. My favourite quote from her that has always stuck with me has always been "'Whoever has been wounded by love, cannot be healed unless kissed by the same mouth that wounded them"'. This is very similar to what St John of the Cross also says about the wound of Love.
So now that I am able to receive Communion again and am coming back to praying and being in union with God - I am also learning to fall in love with Him again everyday. Falling in love with my Creator, my King - the lover of my soul. Receiving Him in the Eucharist so that through the resurrected humanity of Jesus I become the dwelling place for the Blessed Trinity.
May the Holy Trinity always dwell in the Bridal chamber of my heart. Amen