Have you ever noticed how many all’s there are in The Greatest Commandment? Have you ever reflected on what it means to love your God with all your heart, all your strength and all your mind? Might all mean all?
If you are a person that claims to love God, how would you describe your love for your God? Would you characterize your love as occasional? Might it simply be being obedient? Might it be trustingly asking God for what you think you need? Is it little more than a comfortable feeling? How about going to church or saying prayers at bedtime? Might your love for your God need to be more than all that?
Must it be with all your heart? Who do you love with all your heart and what characterizes that love?
For example, if it is your partner, did it begin with attraction and grow into trust and shared values? Do you treasure time together; value each other’s input; enjoy giving more than getting? Is your love for each other greater than any other love in your lives? Do you often tell your partner how much they mean to you? Do you protect the intimacy you share by working at your love?
Are these the minimal attributes of loving God with all your heart? Must you develop an attraction to, and trust of God? Must you make God’s will your will? Do you need to give God your all more than asking things of God? Must you love God more than anyone in your life? Must you work at your love for God to the best of your ability every day of your life? Must you devote time every day to “talk” (that is direct your mind) to God and “listen” to (that is search your mind for) God's replies? Is this even possible? In Become At One With Creator we suggest it is not only possible but necessary. What do you think of what you read there?
Must your love for God be with all your strength? Firstly, must you not discern the strengths God gave you, fully deploy the strongest and further develop the weakest? Secondly must you not use these gifts – logical thinking, listening, empathy and so on – for the benefit of others? Finally, might you discern the extent of your strengths by doing more today than you did yesterday until you reach your personal best? “One more rep!” Why are we satisfied with being good? Why do we not strive to become better? Why do we not continue that striving until we become as good as we can be?
How do you love God with all your mind? Firstly, could you discipline yourself to pursue every question you have about life’s meaning until you resolve it? A priest once told me, “When you question your faith, you are loving God with your mind.” Secondly, could you study all sources of knowledge about God – the Bible, the Catechism, writings by philosophers, atheists, spiritualists and apologists – to enable you to better love God by knowing more about Him? Thirdly could you set aside a few minutes each day to reflect on what you experienced that day and to discover what messages He has put directly into your mind? You can explore how to best do the latter in Is Your Creator Awaiting a Response to its Constant Outreach.
Finally, why are we commanded to love God with our all? Is it for His good or for our good? Is it because He cannot force eternal intimacy on us? Is it because only our loving acceptance of His invitation can enable Him to help us live the fulfilling life He wants for us, and prepare ourselves for eternal intimacy with Him? Is He awaiting your invitation to Him rather than forcing His help on you? Is God leaving the choice, to engage His help, up to us?