Friday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time            

            It is said that the devil’s best strategy in tempting us is not to tell us to forget God completely (which does not work on many) but to tell us and convince us to think of God only half of the time, and to give him only half of our heart and half of our mind – the other half is for ourselves and for our interests. By convincing us to give only half of what we are supposed to give God, the devil is even making us feel good, not feeling guilty, that at least we are still thinking of God half of the time. If we are going to be totally honest with ourselves, we will see that, indeed, we give God only half – in fact, much less than half – of our time and energy, of our heart, mind, and soul.

            This reminds me of a poem I came across. The poem, written by a certain Tom Troeger, goes like this: If all you want, Lord, is my heart, my heart is yours alone – providing I may set apart my mind to be my own. If all you want, Lord, is my mind, my mind belongs to you, but let my heart remain inclined to do what it would do. If heart and mind would both suffice, while I kept strength and soul, at least I would not sacrifice completely my control. But since, O God, you want them all to shape with your own hand, I pray for grace to heed your call to live your first command.

            “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” We are to love God not only with our heart – not only with our feelings, emotions, and desires. We are to love God not only with our soul – not only with our spiritual energies and powers. We are to love God not only with our mind – not only with our intellectual assent. We are to love God not only with our strength – not only with physical vigor and activity. We are to love God with all our all. Nothing must be allowed to rival God in our love or diminish our love for him.

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