out of earth’s sorrows, and into Thy balm ..
out of life’s storms, and into Thy calm ..
out of distress into jubilant psalm ..
Jesus, I come to Thee.

out of myself to dwell in Thy love ..
out of despair into raptures above ..
upward for aye on wings like a dove ..
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Unconditional Love

an excerpt (or chapter..) from the book I'm reading.

3 The Meaning of Love
". . . It is only with the heart that once can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye."
The Little Prince

... If it were a feeling, love would be a very fickle reality and those who construed it to be a feeling would be very fickle people. Rather love is a decision and a commitment. My Christian vocation is to love all people. This means that I must try to do for each person with whom I interact whatever I can to promote that person's true growth and happiness. However, I cannot enter into an actual and ongoing love relationship with everyone. I must therefore decide - and it should be a careful choice - to whom and at what level of commitment I wish to offer my love.

Having made such a decision, on the presumption that my offer of love has been accepted and reciprocated, I am now by my own free choice committed to the happiness, security, and well-being of the person I love. I will do everything I can to help that person build whatever dreams he or she has. It is this commitment which I make when I offer my love. When I question myself about the place love has in my life, I must therefore ask if there is any person in my life whose growth and happiness is as real or more real to me than my own. If so, love has truly entered my life.

* * *

Obviously the commitment to love will involve me in much careful and active listening. I truly want to be whatever you need me to be, to do whatever you need done, and I want to say whatever will promote your happiness, security, and well-being. To discover your needs, I must be attentive , caring, and open both to what you say and to what you cannot say. However, the final decision about the "loving thing" must be mine.

This means that my love may be "tough" love, not all sweet and coddling . . . but, when needed, my love will also be "tender". If you have tried and failed, and you just need a hand in yours in the dark of disappointment, you can count on mine.

I may read you wrongly on occasion and misjudge your needs. I have done this so often to so many in the past. But know this, that my decision is to love you and my commitment is to your true and lasting happiness. I am dedicated to your growth and fulfillment as a person. If I should fail you, for lack of wisdom or because of the abundance of weakness in me, please forgive me, try to recognize my intention, and know that I will try to do better.


There is no third possibility: love is either conditional or unconditional. Either I attach conditions to my love for you or I do not. To the extent that I do attach such conditions, I do not really love you. I am only offering an exchange, not a gift. And true love is and must always be a free gift.

The gift of my love means this: I want to share with you whatever I have that is good. You did not win a contest or prove yourself worthy of this gift. It is not a question of deserving my love. I have no delusions that either of us is the best person in the world. I do not even suppose that, of all the available persons, we are the most compatible. I am sure that somewhere there is someone who would be "better" for you or for me. All that is really not to the point. The point is that I have chosen to give you the gift of love and you have chosen to love me. This is the only soil in which love can possibly grow. "We're gonna make it together!"


The essential message of unconditional love is one of liberation: You can be whoever you are, express all of your thoughts and feelings with absolute confidence. You do not have to be fearful that love will be taken away. You will not be punished for your openness or honesty. There is no admission price to my love, no rental fees or installment payments to be made. There may be days when disagreements and disturbing emotions may come between us. There may be times when psychological or physical miles may lie between us. But I have given you the word of my commitment. I have set my life on a course. I will not go back on my word to you. So feel free to be yourself, to tell me of your negative and positive reactions, of your warm and cold feelings. I cannot always predict my reactions or guarantee my strength, but one thing I do know and I do want you to know: I will not reject you! I am committed to your growth and happiness. I will always love you.

Powell, John S.J.. Unconditional Love. Niles: Argus Communications, 1978. Print.

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