Love:  The Greatest Commandment

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”  Jesus quoting Deuteronomy 6:5

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Jesus quoting Leviticus 19:18

Love the Lord…
…with all your heart – Love God the way God loves you:  without condition; never failing; infinitely wide, long and deep.
…with all your soul – Love God for who God is, not for what God does or what can be received through God.
…with all your mind – Pursue a relationship with God through faith, hope and love rather than through compliant deeds.  “Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.”  St. Therese
Love yourself…
…with your heart – God’s love is perfect so that we don’t have to be. Love yourself in spite of your flaws and imperfections.
…with your soul – God created you in God’s own image and God is love. Love yourself by absorbing the Gospels and embracing God’s perfect love.
…with your mind – Simply love yourself now, don’t wait for a loving affirmation from another.  “Until God’s love is enough, nothing else will be.”  R. Swope

Love your neighbor …
…with your heart – Love of God yields compassion for our neighbors and compassion for our neighbors makes our love of God visible.
…with your soul – Loving expressions of charity are expressions of love for God.
…with your mind – Love all neighbors, even those who behave badly.  Everybody counts.  Everybody matters.

Matthew 22: 34-40       Sunday October 23, 2011

Agnes Ann Mills


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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2 Responses to Love:  The Greatest Commandment

  1. Teresa Hamilton says:

    Wow- I really liked this one– good stuff. Thank you. Teresa

  2. Yes, I was pondering what love meant. I tend to think of it as an emotion you feel. This really does clarify it. Btw, I get your blog by email so don’t always click through to the site which might be why your numbers don’t go up. 🙂

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