With All Your Heart
And He said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment."
LORD, give me the wisdom to understand this, Your greatest commandment. It is a difficult rule to follow. It is a worthy goal to strive toward, but impossible for a mortal to master. Inspire, enlighten Your servant. Within this command Your creatures find their ultimate lesson, their charter, their creed.
Who am I to love, Lord God? Who are You, Lord? By faith, I understand that You are that than which nothing greater can be conceived. Therefore, You exist with an existence that is beyond anything else. You alone are real. Outside of You is only nothingness. You exist through Yourself, and have created all things from nothing. You are sublime perfection. You are all that is good, and all goodness comes from You alone. You are Love. Without You, there is no existence, no perfection, no good, no Love. Truly, You alone are worthy of my love and worship.
Then how should I love You, Lord?
I am to love You with all my heart. I live in a world governed by passion, but I serve a Lord who demands love. My heart is the seat of both passion and love. Passion can be a graceful gift and a carnal error. As I contemplate on the heart, I am reminded of Saint Paul, who persecuted Your people with great passion, but after a vision of Your Love, his passion was put into the service of Your Kingdom. You command that my passion be loving, and my love be passionate. My love for You is to be the focus of all my labors. My love for You should consume me. You are my God, the One that I put before all things (Psalm 73:25). Nothing, no thing is greater than You, and so I shall put no thing before You (Exodus 20:3). For this reason, the passionate fire of my heart's love for You consumes all flesh (Gal 5:16; 1Peter 4:2).
I am to love You with all my soul. My soul yearns for You, my Lord. My soul seeks You (Isaiah 26:9). My soul drives me to higher things. Without You, I have no soul. I am lost and I stumble in darkness. My soul is a gift from You (Zech 12:1), and it is the spark that lights my heart's consuming fire. Without my soul which You have given me, I could not find You, though You are not far (Acts 17:27). Without the soul You have given me, I could not hear Your divine music (Job 32:8, 38:36). I am caught between Love and nothingness, and like the flower that reaches for the sun, my soul reaches for Love. I should not ignore this yearning, but embrace it and follow it to my salvation.
I am to love You with all my mind. Of all my organs, my mind is the weakest. It is deceived by the material world (Isaiah 59:10). It seeks Truth, but only follows shadows (Prov 14:12). It sees only these shadows, and expects to discover Truth from them (Ecc 8:17). But enlightenment comes only through faith (Prov 1:7; 1Cor 12:8). My mind must be freed from its material chains, though that would seem to be foolishness (Psalm 139:6). I must receive the Mind of Christ, and only then can the grandeur and beauty of Truth be understood (1Cor 2:16). Lord, You command me to step out of the shadows and into Your Love and Truth so that I may gain a proper perspective (1John 2:15). What I see cannot be described in words, but must be expressed in art or parable. My fellow men will have difficulty understanding what I describe, for they still seek Truth in the shadows. They do not know Your Light, my Lord, and so Your Wisdom appears to them as foolishness, and men continue to believe they can save themselves which is the epitome of human arrogance (1Cor 1:23).
And so, my Lord, I am born to love You. My soul yearns for You, and I can feel You around me. I follow these yearnings and my mind is brought into the light. You lift me from the mud, You wipe clean my eyes and embrace me with Your Light, Your Love, Your Truth. My soul seeks You, my mind is enlightened by You, and my heart consumes my flesh with the fire of my passionate love for You.
With the vision of Your Perfection, I see this world for what it is. Now I know imperfection because I have seen perfection. I know evil because I have seen good. I know death because I have seen life. And I know hate because I have seen Love. I see evil that I once dismissed as a part of life. I see that this is the life we have created for ourselves, not the Life You want us to have. I realize the folly of human logic. Human logic has been used to justify every human evil and leads men to commit such evil. Only when the heart, soul, and mind of man is enlightened by faith in and love for You, Lord God, can such evil be defeated. Until then, it spreads across Your creation, destroying men and beasts like a plague. This evil even invades Your church and attempts to corrupt Your Truth with human logic.
By Your Power, my Lord, this evil will be defeated, one heart, one soul, and one mind at a time. Truly, Your commandment is our ultimate lesson. Obedience to it, and only it, leads to salvation.
In Christ's name, Amen.