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“Ask a Priest: How to Love God With All One’s Heart?”
Q: How do I love and serve God with all my heart and soul? – D.H.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: Great question! It is a notable ideal to love and serve God with all your heart and soul.
Mark 10:17-21 touches on this very question:
“As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus answered him, ‘[…] You know the commandments: ”You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.”’ He replied and said to him, ‘Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’”
If you already are praying daily, receiving the sacraments frequently (or relatively frequently during the pandemic), and doing acts of charity, and you still feel called to something deeper, you might consider whether God is calling you to dedicate your whole life to him and his Church.
It might help to find a regular confessor and/or spiritual director who could guide you. You might even consider contacting the diocesan vocation director for feedback.
A book you might find useful is 60 Days to Becoming a Missionary Disciple. The first 30 days are dedicated to understanding how to follow the great commandment to “love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” The second 30 days are dedicated to understanding how best to follow the other great commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Whatever you do, try to keep up the prayer life. And make visits to the Blessed Sacrament when you have the chance. With time and prayer, you will sense where God is guiding you.
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