From a reflection by a nun of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery:

Do you want to know if you really love God? You can ponder these words of our Father St. Bernard. They can work as a form of testing if any love is authentic, but they are particularly good to see if we truly love God. This is what Bernard says in his treatise ‘On Loving God‘, “True love is content with itself; it has as its reward, the object of its love. Whatever you seem to love because of something else, you do not really love; you must really love the end pursued and not that by which it is pursued.”
Are we looking for a reward for spending time in prayer or participating in the Eucharist? Bernard says, “No one, for example, pays a hungry manSr. Gertrude Solemn Profession Mass to eat, a thirsty man to drink, or a mother to feed the child of her womb. . . . How much more the soul that loves God seeks no other reward than that God whom it loves. Were the soul to demand anything else, then it would certainly love that other thing and not God.” In the Our Father and in many other forms of prayer, we present to our Father in heaven our needs and the needs of others, but if we only come to Him to get something, we are missing the greatest gift of prayer: to remain in love, to get closer and closer to the one we love, the one who loved us first.

Love is more than a feeling, it’s a form of being, a form of living, of knowing, of giving and receiving. When we realize that we are falling short of this love, we can look deeper to find the Holy Spirit in us crying out, “Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6). He, the bond of love between the Father and the Son, teaches us how to pray and how to love. Come, Holy Spirit, You who are Love, love in me!