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Monday, September 27, 2004

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St. Vincent de Paul

Job 1:6-22
Psalm 17
Luke 9:46-50

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how to love the lord unconditionally

"In all this Job did not sin, nor did he say anything disrespectful of God." —Job 1:22

In one day, Job had three businesses destroyed and the extreme tragedy of having his ten children die. In his great grief, Job said: "Naked I came forth from my mother's womb, and naked shall I go back again. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!" (Jb 1:21) Job loved God unconditionally. How many believers have ever said "Blessed be the name of the Lord" under such conditions?

The Lord wants us also to love Him unconditionally. He will give us grace after grace to lead us to the summit of love, which is unconditional love. We must accept the grace of humility, become like children, and welcome others who do the same (see Lk 9:48). This humility opens us to an obedience even to accepting many crosses from Jesus (see Phil 2:8). By suffering these crosses, we are more deeply purified and move further along the road to unconditional love. In the midst of all this, the Lord will grace us with greater faith, virtue, discernment, self-control, perseverance, piety, brotherly love, and finally unconditional love (see 2 Pt 1:5-7). Furthermore, unconditional love "springs from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith" (1 Tm 1:5). This is very complicated, but we need not be concerned, for all we need do is put our hand in Jesus' hand and obey Him step by step, grace by grace, as He leads us to the summit of love, that is, unconditional love.

May we want to love the Lord unconditionally more than we want anything else in life. The Lord will certainly give us this love.

Prayer:  Father, may I live to love You with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength, and all my mind (Lk 10:27).

Promise:  "Whoever welcomes this little child on My account welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me welcomes Him Who sent Me." —Lk 9:48

Praise:  St. Vincent de Paul learned about Love by loving the unlovely enough to meet their basic physical and spiritual needs.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004