If you like someone as a friend, you enjoy spending quality time with them. If you should become infatuated, you will usually begin to think more and more of the person and long for those moments when you can be together. And finally, if you fall in love and discover your heart’s desire, you can really only be happy and know peace when you live in union with the beloved. The experience of God is something like that and even very much more. God is love itself, and our Christian faith makes no sense without the experience of knowing God’s love and being in love with God. Our faith, first and last, must be grounded in the incomparable love of the living God. Each one of us was created with an infinite capacity that God has designed and endless hunger that God alone can satisfy. Our moral law and Gospel values, the truth of our doctrine, our churches and schools, our hospitals, our missions, our structures of community, our commitment to service, our defense of life, our option for the poor lose their meaning without the continuing experience of knowing the love of the Father, in Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the essential reality that Christian prayer embodies and affirms.