One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:28–30
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that the greatest act you can do in life is to love God with your whole being. That is, to love Him with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength. Loving God above all things, with all the power of your human abilities, is the constant goal you must strive for in life. But what does that exactly mean?
First, this commandment of love identifies various aspects of who we are so as to emphasize that each aspect of our being must be given over to a total love of God. Philosophically speaking, we can identify these various aspects of our whole being as follows: intellect, will, passions, feelings, emotions and desires. How do we love God with all of these?
We start with our minds. The first step in loving God is coming to know Him. This means we must seek to understand, comprehend and believe in God and all that has been revealed to us about Him. It means we have sought to penetrate the very mystery of God’s life, especially through Scripture and through the countless revelations given through the history of the Church.
Second, when we come to a deeper understanding of God and all that He has revealed, we make a free choice to believe in Him and follow His ways. This free choice must follow our knowledge of Him and becomes an act of faith in Him.
Third, when we have begun to penetrate the mystery of the life of God and chosen to believe in Him and all that He has revealed, we will see our lives change. One specific aspect of our lives that will change is that we will desire God and His will in our lives, we will want to seek Him more, we will find joy in following Him and we will discover that all the powers of our human soul will slowly become consumed with a love of Him and His ways.
Reflect, today, especially upon the first aspect of loving God. Reflect upon how diligently you seek to know and understand Him and all that He has revealed. This knowledge must become the foundation for your love with your whole being. Start with that and allow all else to follow. One way to do this is to begin a study of our entire Catholic faith (see: www.mycatholic.life).
Lord, I realize that in order to love You above all else I must come to know You. Help me to be diligent in my commitment to know You and to seek to discover all the glorious truths of Your life. I thank You for all that You have revealed to me and I dedicate myself, this day, to a more thorough discovery of Your life and revelation. Jesus, I trust in You.