LOVING GOD ABOVE ALL THINGS
When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him “You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10: 25-27)
Many of us, me included, have asked what this means. What does this entail? How can I make God the center of my entire being? Do I have to totally detach myself from all material things? Do I need to let go of all my mundane desires and the enjoyment I derive from the pursuit and fulfillment of these?
Fr. Richard Rohr, a contemplative Franciscan gives a wonderful insight on how we can attempt to do this. “What does it mean, as the first commandment instructs us, to love God more than
anything else? To love God is to love what God loves. To love God means to love everything . . . no exceptions.”
However we cannot love what God loves through our own efforts. We need God’s graces and our constant effort to look beyond our self-centeredness and become aware of God’s presence in everyone and in all creation.
This quote from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, The Brothers Karamazov quite clearly describes how we can love God in all things.
“Love [people] even in [their] sin, for that is the semblance of
Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all God’s
creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you have perceived it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.”