"All programs and resolutions of the spiritual life are of little value if they are not animated by love and directed to the perfection of love." ~ The Divine Intimacy, #70We read in Scripture about "faith, hope, and love . . . and the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13. We also read that "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16. What an incredible love that God would sacrifice His only Son for us? And yet do we really understand or appreciate that love? Does our desire to participate in that love drive our relationship with God and our spiritual life? Or do we get caught up in the details and forget the foundation?
"The spiritual life requires the use of so many means, calls for the exercise of so many virtues that care must be taken lest we become lost in details, forgetting the love which should be the foundation and end of all." ~ The Divine Intimacy, #70Developing our spiritual life entails incorporating so many prayers of various forms into our lives. Of setting apart time each day dedicated to meditation and contemplation of God. Of bettering our relationship with God so that we can better hear His voice and follow His path for our life. Of attending mass and the sacraments regularly. Of practicing virtue, aspiring to Christ's example in our actions and thoughts. I don't know about you, but I often get so caught up in trying to remember and do ALL these things that I forget WHY I'm doing them. That my love for God is the underlying foundation, the driving force behind any and all of this!
As my friends know, I'm extremely detail-oriented. I love planning and checklists and organization. I don't do terribly well with impromptu changes or no plan at all. And organizing my spiritual life is helpful to a certain extent; however, I find that sometimes I spend so much time planning out how I'm going to do ALL the things (daily Rosary; daily meditation and reading; Mass on Sundays; etc.) that I forget Who I'm struggling to do all of this for. Having a plan is great, but if I lose sight of my end, then all the planning in the world is worthless.
The greatest of these is love. Let us remember that in our daily lives. As we go about our vocations, keep love at the forefront (I'll write a post later on about the difference between love and just letting people get whatever they want). Keep God at the forefront of everything. Let His love for you and your love for Him illuminate and drive your existence!