Since the whole preoccupation of this character is with "love", that comes to us in spades, and overspills to affect our neighbour. It's a spontaneous thing, not something that HAS to be worked at.
But it all starts and ends with an adoration, free from personal ego. From that unencumbered starting point "grace" flows...
...and experience follows.
Cognitively I can understand this, but at a gut level it is much more difficult. My experiences in life have much to do with that. Reading through this thread I kept hearing a therapist say that 'abuse victims experience a side of God that is cold'. That's not to lay the experience at his feet, but imagine praying for it to stop, and when it doesn't, that feeling of cold isolation is branded on the soul.
Belief is a huge problem, not the desire but the actual mechanics of letting go and embracing that belief. And so I'm paying attention in this thread to try to learn.
In the end, surrender must be complete and all must be let go. It is not easy to forsake our -- Beloved.
I do envy you James to be able to let go. Perhaps one day.
To use an extreme example, I don't see how anyone could make a good faith argument Hitler wasn't separated from God. Unless you want to say that God is evil as well as loving.
Mega expressed it far better than I can. Frankly the main reason I believe in God is because of evil. I believe absolutely and beyond all doubt there is a force of evil that exists. It is cold. It is terrifying in its calm Hannibal Lecter-like way of hurting. But there is no goodness in it. Therefore there must be a counterbalance, and that is where I jump from feeeling belief to reasoning logic.