Today, I’m thinking about Jesus’ answer to the question “Which is the first of all the commandments?” (See Matt 22:36 and Mark 12:28). Remembering Moses’ statement to the Jews after returning from the mountain where he received the Ten Commandments (see Deut 6:5-6), Jesus responded (Mark 12:29-30): “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” My question is: How does one know if the love one currently has for God is sufficient? It sounds to me like this love must be quite intense and passionate.
Have you ever experienced love for another human being? Say, your spouse? Your girlfriend? Your boyfriend? Your mother? Your father? Son or daughter? Did you love him/her with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? If so, how did this affect your behavior toward this person? What does it really mean to you? My answer would be that I would want to spend time with this person; that I would want to please this person; that I would want to tell him/her that I love them (and really mean it); and that I would want to fulfill every want and need that this person has; and so on and so forth.
Now, imagine having this same love for God. What would it mean? Spending time with Him? Yes! Making every effort to please Him? Yes! Telling Him often that you love him? Yes! Doing things (good works) that would fulfill your neighbor's every want and need? Yes! And so on and so forth? Yes, yes, and yes!
Perhaps you feel that showing your love by attending church services once a week would accomplish all of the above. Someone in my parish recently wrote a piece in the parish bulletin in which she essentially said that very thing … she loves God so much that she attends Mass every Sunday. It made me chuckle a little. The Church says that this is the absolute minimum that is required for adoring and loving God and it is a mortal sin if you don't! My interpretation of “all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” and being intense and passionate about your love means it has to be much, much more. Attending weekday Masses would be a great start. Start with one extra day each week, say, on Wednesdays, and see what happens. Praying a daily rosary would be a great start. Again, start with one day a week. Reading and studying Sacred Scripture daily would be a great start. Making regular holy hours in church in front of the Blessed Sacrament would be a great start. And on and on!
I have tried all of the above and I feel my love for God has grown immeasurably. Try one or more of these. I think you will feel much better about yourself because you are demonstrating your passion and intensity about your love for your Creator. And your love will grow! Trust me.