To feed our desire for God and our desire to make our relationship with him the core and fountain of everything we do requires thinking frequently about him and his magnificent plan for our lives. 2 I bow low toward your holy temple; I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness. We can say, “Lord Jesus, I turn my heart to You this morning. When I recite your judgments of old…I am comforted, LORD. All rights reserved. (James 1:14–15). Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my capacity to love until I love you with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love my neighbor as I love myself. 1 Of David. We should not waste one more day allowing anything to impede our pursuit of those two loves. I confess that my flesh wants to dodge this question because it places me alone in the spotlight — but that’s right where I need to be. His love seeks to save the lost (Luke 19:10) and lavishes the returning prodigal with grace (Luke 15:11–32). 3 On the day I cried out, you answered; you strengthened my spirit. This is a good question, though perhaps not the best way to ask it. So, is a man who seeks a prostitute doomed? We spend a lot of time thinking about the things we desire. The devil, agitating our fallen nature and the fallen world in which we live, will try to monopolize our attention with images, ideas, thoughts, and invitations that can lure us into self-absorption and eventually into destructive self-indulgence. Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Do people know that we are Jesus’s disciples by the way we love one another (John 13:35)? I love You!” We can practice telling the Lord we love Him every single day. Jesus, being God, is love (1 John 4:8). His most widely known book is called: “The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer”. Attending to each of those arenas, therefore, produces an indirect effect on the heart as well, educating and purifying it, and nourishing its Christian core. After college he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. The Confession, Giuseppe Molteni, 1838, CC-SA, Wikimedia Commons. They seek to abide in him because they desperately need him. And since the Father promises to give his Spirit to those who ask (Luke 11:13), let us ask boldly (Hebrews 4:16) and persistently (Luke 11:5–8): Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my capacity to love until I love you with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love my neighbor as I love myself. Fr. LOVING GOD WITH all your heart means desiring him above all things and making your intimate, personal relationship with him into the highest priority of your life, the center around which every other facet of your existence finds its proper and glorious place. Even at night I remember your name in observance of your law, LORD. Just as a little boy will feed his desire for a new bike by looking at a picture of that bike every day, so too we need to gaze at the Lord and savor his dream for us as often as we can. This is my desire you to honor you Lord, with all my heart I worship you All I have within me I give You praise All that I adore is in you. He is also continuing his writing apostolate with online retreats at www.RCSpirituality.org and questions and answers on the spiritual life at www.RCSpiritualDirection.com. “Then Jesus told them a parable about the necessity for, them to pray always without becoming weary…”. This is why we can figure out a solution to a complex problem by making diagrams and pictures, doodling, trying various alternatives in our imagination, and discussing it with others. We’re on a mission to change that. This is not good, because Jesus doesn’t approve of love-talk with no love-deeds or love-change (1 John 3:18). Avert my eyes from what is worthless; by your way give me life. Christians don’t always — in fact, shouldn’t always — feel the emotion of desperation when they pray. Oh, Lord I love You for all the things You do! It does not matter that this is impossible for fallen human beings, for we have a God for whom all things are possible (Mark 10:27). Nevertheless, you can also attend to the heart directly. Click here to learn more about the book…or if you wish to get it for a friend or relative who doesn’t read on line. How do you make that happen? I. I thank you, Lord, with all my heart; a. in the presence of the angels * to you I sing. Editor’s Note: This is another excerpt from Father John Bartunek’s new book “Seeking First the Kingdom” filled with “practical examples and down-to-earth wisdom which will show you how to bring Christ into each facet of your life”. St. James explains how temptation begins with something that stirs up a self-centered desire, and then, if we choose to pay attention to that desire, it grows. In doing so, I can make myself appear to be more earnest about the New Testament love commands than others, and feel a subtle, false sense of superiority to the faceless mass of corporate “we” failing to love as Jesus instructed. We don’t always wake up in the morning with a loving heart toward the Lord. For us human beings, these faculties utilize instruments to operate: our senses, our imagination, our memory, our emotions, and our passions. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. They can nourish the core desire of our hearts. We will see more men of God in the church as we introduce men to the real God. The love of Christ transcends every other virtue; it is the most excellent way (1 Corinthians 12:31; 13:13). He commanded us to love one another divinely well — to love as he loved. Lord, I finally love this man you’ve given me the way I’m supposed to—with all my heart and soul. ++++++++++++++++++++++++ The intensity of our love for a certain object can increase or decrease according to how much attention we pay to that object and how much space it takes up in our external and internal senses (memory and imagination). Oh, Lord I love You for all the things You are! Displaying images of Jesus, Mary, and the saints on our walls, desks, rearview mirrors, and screen savers; wearing a cross or a crucifix around our necks; wearing blessed medals; dropping by a church and making the Sign of the Cross with holy water; asking for a priest’s blessing; praying before meals…. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller “Inside the Passion”–the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. We have no higher priorities in life than loving God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, as well as loving our neighbor as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27). Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. And so, what we choose to look at, think about, and daydream about will affect the desires that grow and mature in our heart. Oh, Lord I love You. His love is not irritable or resentful, does not insist on its own selfish way, rejoices only in the truth, and bears all things (1 Corinthians 13:4–7). 4All the kings of earth will praise you, LORD, 6The LORD is on high, but cares for the lowlyb. Most of the traditional pious practices associated with Christianity have this as their goal. And Jesus said this kind of love would be the distinguishing mark of his followers, the most remarkable thing about them (John 13:35). Forming our heart in Christ follows the contrary path. Do people describe you and me as remarkably loving? For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. You shall love the Lord with all your mind, With all your heart, with all your soul, your mind and strength. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. This is part of human nature; it flows from the connection between the two spiritual faculties that human nature possesses—intelligence and will, the power to know and the power to choose. His love seeks to serve, rather than be served (Matthew 20:28). So, the way I need to frame the question is this: Do people know I am Jesus’s disciple by the way I love others? Infrequent or superficial contact with the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and confession, robs our souls of essential spiritual nutrients. In my heart I treasure your promise, that I may not sin against you…. reaches maturity it gives birth to death. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. Lord I give you my heart I give you my soul I live for you alone Dear Father John, I want to love God with all my heart, but I don’t know where to start. ©2020 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Explore more inspirational selections here. Do we really want to know how he views our love levels? Dan Burke. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. Mark 12:30 records Jesus as saying, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Is this me? For you have exalted over all. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. Spiritual Heart Supplements And how faithful he truly is. Saints who learn to rest most in God’s promises have learned most profoundly how utterly they depend on God for everything. The Psalms frequently make choosing to think about God and his plans (his name, promise, judgments, testimonies) a central theme for prayer: In my heart I treasure your promise, that I may not sin against you…. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. Avert my eyes from what is worthless; by your way give me life. Purgatory: Answering Seven Key Questions About The Church's Teachings. For my, flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. The act is not a private transaction but a public act that stirs the surrounding nations to praise God’s greatness and care for the people (Ps 138:4–6). Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death. Jesus is utterly serious about his commandment, perhaps more than we may think (John 13:34). John currently splits his time between Rome and Rhode Island, where he teaches theology as an adjunct professor at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum and at Mater Ecclesia College. * [Psalm 138] A thanksgiving to God, who came to the rescue of the psalmist. He invites us to ask him, and he promises to answer us if we want to know (Luke 11:10). © Copyright 2020 Catholic Exchange. Modern Jews consider the recital of the Shema both evening and morning to … He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican’s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. He has also published four other titles: “Seeking First the Kingdom”, “Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions”, “Meditations for Mothers”, and “A Guide to Christian Meditation”. At all times my soul is stirred with longing for your judg ments…. This kind of desperation — utter helplessness — is what drives us to prayer. His answer may be devastating. Practices like these set reminders for us to think about God. So, God himself gives us a new heart when we become Christians, but he leaves it up to us to make that heart grow. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.’” (John 6:53–57), On confession (Jesus to his apostles): “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (John 20:23). If we feed it with more attention, we will eventually act on it, committing sin. Just as the living, Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one, who feeds on me will have life because of me.’”, forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”, “The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer”, “Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions”, We Can Spiritually Grow Together While Social Distancing | Simone Rizkallah, The Paschal Mystery Still Brings Life & Joy | Christopher Carstens, How to Begin the Path to Discernment & Spiritual Warfare | feat.