God is revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ. But this revelation comes to us because first of all God is love. The greater truth is that God is grasped as love. And that is how both St. Paul and the Church can say that even if people do not know Christ, if they love, that they know and are known by God.
Only those who fully love all people can be sure that they are still in contact with the truth.
Failure to love all people fully is failure to stay in contact with the gospel.
Love is neither a notion nor a sentiment. Love is an action. Love demands everything to be given. Love means to give everything up in the giving.
Notions expand people like balloons. Ideas and sentiments create a precarious kingdom over which we reign. That is bad enough, but the worst part is that our minds have no internal mechanism to warn us when we begin to punish those who do not share our knowledge.
But the action of love does have indications. The action of love is most easy to discern. Was what I just did fully denying of myself and fully seeking the good of the one loved? …or was it only partial? …qualified?
John Chryrostom had some fine things to say about sheep and about wolves.
As long as we remain sheep, we overcome.
Even though we may be surrounded by a thousand wolves, we overcome….
But as soon as we are wolves, we fail:
for then we lose the support for the shepherd who feeds not wolves,
but only sheep.
– Sermon 34 on the Gospel of St. Matthew