We had kind of a strange snow storm yesterday evening and overnight. Up here in the great white north, high above the Arctic Circle in northeastern Illinois, not a flake of snow.
Good for us. Not great for my mom and dad.
I hesitate to call them elderly. Yeah, Dad turned 80 last March and Mom will be 78 end of next week. But they sure don’t act it. On the other hand, neither of them should be shoveling snow.
You and I both know about early starts to our day. Today, I was done with my first appointment at 6:45, and my next client cancelled. My next appointment wasn’t until 9.
Before I left my client’s driveway, I checked my phone, saw I had a message from you. So as I headed south on the next leg of my journey, I had time to ponder your words:
“I did have a question for you about the Baptism of the Lord–is God’s love unconditional or Divine or am I just getting confused on my definitions? I am well pleased with you–is that unconditionally?”
Before I answer, I must emphasize that the answer comes not from a scholarly theologian, but from a flawed layperson who attempts to assimilate Church doctrine within my own feeble study of scripture, the Catechism, the saints, documented encounters of holy people with human beings, and my own brief skirmishes with the supernatural. Certainly not authoritative.
But steeped in faith. And an earnest endeavor to seek Divine Truth.
God is Love. God is Mercy. God is Truth. God is Divine.
I believe this with every fiber of my being.
Above all, as Jesus told Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska, God is Love and Mercy itself.
Therefore, all Love from God is Divine Love. It must be. By definition. God cannot not love. That would be contradictory. Sorry for the double-negative. But it’s necessary to emphasize the point.
God’s Love is Divine. God’s Mercy is Divine. God’s Truth is Divine.
Must be. By definition.
But is God’s Love also unconditional?
I think it must be.
God doesn’t place conditions on His Love. Jesus doesn’t place conditions on His Love.
By our flawed human condition.
Does that make sense?
I had big plans for this morning. I knew that my 7:30 appointment had been cancelled, and before I left home I knew I was headed to Panera for “second breakfast” (hey, I’m a growing boy). I would use the time productively, working on a fitness product I’m developing with my son’s help.
On my way to my 6:00 appointment, I ran into snowy roads. And when I got as far south as Lake Bluff and Lake Forest, there were three or four inches of snow on the ground.
6:45, my appointment over, I sat in my car, having read your message. I put the car in drive and headed south.
I had a choice. Do the work I planned to do or head to Mom and Dad’s house to shovel snow.
The decision was obvious. But there were those moments of rationalization on the way.
As I drove and pondered, I reflected on your questions.
I was placing conditions on my love.
I hope that helps.