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Love Loves Love

absolute being evangelization existence god jesus love martyr metaphysics mission missionary new evangelization personhood saint john thomas aquinas trinity witness Aug 21, 2022

I can’t help but believe that I exist to evangelize. What do I mean by this? To exist as a mission. Not simply having a mission in this world but being a mission in this world. Being a missionary man means to lose so as to win, to spill so as to save, to scatter so as to gather. Evangelization is a redoubled existence. If to exist means “to stand out” (ex–sistere) in one’s being, to evangelize means to go out as a “blessed messenger” (eu–aggelos) with one’s being. To evangelize means to be a “witness” (martyr) to the absolute – to that which cannot be divided up or categorized according to anything else besides its own “self-subsistent being” (ipsum esse subsistens). And the absolute, of course, is what we mean by the word God.

Yet the essential meaning of God is not self-evident to us. If we as persons speak of God as the absolute, it would be absurd to regard God as impersonal. God, as the absolute, must be personal if we indeed are persons. Even more, it is not our task to determine the essence of God since we ourselves are not God. Whose task is it, then, to determine the essence of God? It is God’s task in relation to us. The process whereby God makes known the divine essence (or at least a glimmer of it) to personal creatures is called divine revelation.

For Catholic belief, God has made known his essence as a Trinity of Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This trinitarian God has made known his essence through the Incarnate Word, Jesus the Christ. Jesus is the eternal Son of the Father and the fullness of God’s personal revelation to us personal creatures. So there is alterity (otherness) in the absolute! Three irreducible divine Persons who together are one God. Therefore, it makes sense to say with Saint John the Evangelist that “God is love” (theos agape estin). For how could love love alone?

Love loves to love because eternal Love is a Trinity of Persons. Love Loves Love. Love (God the Father) Loves (God the Son) Love (God the Holy Spirit). Love Loves Love with the Love that proceeds from the Lover and the Beloved. Love (God the Father) Loves (God the Son) Love (God the Holy Spirit) with the Love (God the Holy Spirit) that proceeds from the Lover (God the Father) and the Beloved (God the Son). “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We exist to evangelize. We exist to love. “To love” signifies being (noun become verb without ceasing to be noun) dynamically standing out in its being rather than remaining riveted to its static self.

© Donald Wallenfang, My Interior Castle, 2022

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