God did not die for man because of some value he perceived in him. The value of each human soul considered simply in itself, out of relation to God, is zero. As St. Paul writes, to have died for valuable man would have been not divine but merely heroic; but God died for sinners. He loved us not because we were lovable, but because He is love.
“Membership” in The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, Harper Collins, 1976, 170.