Friday, August 21, 2015

Putting God First

In Luke’s Gospel we read: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind’ (Lk 10:27). Reading the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20) we identify the central role and place God has, and should have, in our lives. This is not an easy thing. We need to be able to sacrifice ourselves, our time, our thought, our existence in fulfilling this objective, of achieving true communion and relationship with God. Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh explains:


‘Love and friendship do not grow if we are not prepared to sacrifice a great deal for their sake, and in the same way we must be ready to put aside many things in order to give God the first place. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind’ (Lk 10:27). This seems to be a very simple command, and yet those words contain much more than one sees at a first glance. We all know what it is to love someone with all one’s heart; we know the pleasure, not only of meeting but even of thinking of the beloved, the warm comfort it gives. It is in that wat that we should try to love God, and whenever his name is mentioned, it should fill our heart and soul with infinite warmth. God should be at all times in our mind, whereas in fact we think of him only occasionally.
As for loving God with all our strength, we can only do it if we cast off deliberately everything that is not God’s in us; by am effort of will we must turn ourselves constantly towards God, whether in prayer, which is easier, because in prayer we are already centred on God, or in action, which requires training, because in our actions we are concentrated on some material achievement and have to dedicate it to God by a special effort.’[1]



[1] Anthony of Sourozh, Creative Prayer, 2004, p.39.

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