Unearned Love

Continuing the theme of my post of a couple of days ago on God’s extravagant love: The opening period (sometimes called the Disposition Phase) of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius invite us to get in touch with a sense of ourselves as the beloved creatures of God – deepening our experience of God’s unconditional love for us.

I read a beautiful passage written by Richard Rohr that explains well why this is so important for us. Rohr writes

It’s quite clear that it is the inner experience of grace that liberates human beings at all levels. It’s the experience of unconditional love that really sets all humans free and heals all their wounds. Without it, human beings live in prisons of tit for tat, measuring, weighing, and counting the cost of everything. I call this the “economy of merit,” where almost all people naturally live, instead of the Gospel-given “economy of grace,” which is a world of abundance and open horizons.

Without a sense of God’s unconditional love for us, we cannot live in an “economy of grace.” As Rohr explains, “[g]race is such a humiliation to the ego, and such a surrendering for the human need to achieve, that even most of church history has lived inside of the economy of merit. We have been offered so much more, but it only makes sense to those who have personally “suffered” the experience of unearned love.”