If we learn to love ourselves by being still, and we learn to love others by withdrawing the way we project our emotions on to them, we learn to love God simply by being loved, by allowing ourselves to be loved. Our love of God originates in God’s love for us.
The love I speak of is not our love for God, [St John says] but the love he showed us in sending his Son as the remedy for the defilement of our sins. We love because God loved us first. (1 John 4:10,19)
There’s nothing more obvious than that God must have loved us first; God has created us out of his love for us. Nothing is more obvious, but it’s the obvious that we always forget. What we learn in meditation is to remember that; to remember that God loved us first, and by opening ourselves to that truth, by accepting that truth, we experience the love of God flooding our inmost heart through the Holy Spirit he has given us. We experience ourselves loved; we accept ourselves as loved; we allow ourselves to be loved. That is what we are doing in meditation. And it is as a direct result of that, that we are empowered to love ourselves, and love others, and love God.
( Aspects of Love 3 by Laurence Freeman OSB )