Love God with all your Heart, Spirit, Mind, and Strength

Love God with all your Heart, Spirit, Mind, and Strength

Return to our Way of Life

The greatest commandment is to love the Lord, our God. Let this love be the foundation of our lives, actions, relationships, and hope. May we wake up every day and choose to love God.

We love because God first loved us. His love is sustaining and ever-present. So much so that we often fail to sense it with every life-giving breath we take. The love of God is beyond comprehension. This love sustains all of creation. It is warm and tender while being unwavering. The love of God invites us to love God. Invitations come to us in moments and ways we so easily miss. The vastness of God’s love is too much for our minds. This simple fact means we often misunderstand love. We often see God’s love as so much smaller than it is. God’s love is deep enough and wide enough to envelop all things.

In the Gospels, we read about Jesus. He tells us the greatest commandment is to love the Lord, our God. That everyone should love God with all their heart, spirit, mind, and strength. This is a choice we must make every day and in every moment. Doing this is both natural and foreign. In many ways, it is our natural state of being to love our God. In other ways, it is against our nature. If I sit in silence, my mind and body would not choose to love God, but I may discover God’s love for me. His love helps me see and love myself to new depths. These depths that open my eyes to new realities and ways of love.

Thus, we start the journey of loving our God. We embark upon this endless journey. This journey will take longer than the number of breaths we will get to take. Everyday we must choose to continue this journey. A journey that will continue as long as we still have strength and breath. Each of us continuing onward because we desire a deep and growing love for God. With each step we take each day, we build and defend that desire in our hearts.

Our love for our God needs to be expressed in more than words. Our desire for God’s love cannot easily be fulfilled. It is a desire that transforms our heart, spirit, mind, and whole body. It is a desire that bears fruit when it is paired with perseverance and increasing passion. It is a love that humbles us. What is there that we can give or do for God? What in creation might be a worthy gift? There is only me. My frailty. My brokenness. My brevity. My meager capacity for love is far less than you deserve. What exists just beyond my expectations and experience of love – this is what our Lord longs for. The Lord our God has called me, all of me, beloved and enough. I have been enveloped within the warm tenderness of God’s divine love. How can I do anything but love God with all that I am?

Loving our God is the foundation and cornerstone of the life of every Urban Monastic. Let us not lose sight of God or misplace His tenderness and mercy. It is from the soil of God’s love that the rest of our rule and lives grow.

Invitations to Engage

  • Ask God to let you experience a portion of the affection He has for you.
  • Meditate on the way your love of God dances and moves with God’s love for you.
  • Meditate on how your self-love is bound to the love you have to give to God.
  • Reflect on what rhythms and patterns in your life help and hinder your love for God.
  • Meditate on the ways the Love of God is different from your experiences of love.
  • Meditate on the unique ways your heart, spirit, mind, and/or strength love the Lord our God.
  • Contemplate God receiving your expressions, acts, and works of love.
  • Meditate on how you can encourage, invite, and help others to love God in deep, meaningful, and authentic ways.
  • Rest in and contemplate the unending love God has for you, and the countless ways that God loves you.

Meditations on this Rule