“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” [From the Gospel Mt. 22:34-40, Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time]
These words of Jesus, distilling the Word of God into two simple commands, while familiar, challenge us in their fulfillment. All the discussions and arguments about faith, morals, liturgy and the conflicts of this world, presented to Jesus by the experts of the day then, and now, are stilled by His words.
Yet why are these two simple commands so difficult? Might it be because we fail to simply watch and listen to God, to His creation? Might our faith in our mental ability and understanding be greater than our trust, knowledge of God. In the words of St Paul of the Cross we are reminded to:
“Let all creation help you praise God. Give yourself the rest you need. When you are walking alone, listen to the sermon preached to you by the flowers, the trees, the shrubs, the sky, the sun and the whole world. Notice how they preach to you a sermon full of love, of praise to God and how they invite you to proclaim the greatness of throne who has given them being.”
St. Paul of the Cross