“We become what we love. We ‘identify with’ what we love. We find our identity in what we love. St. Augustine knew that well; that’s why he wrote: Amor meus, pondus meum – ‘my love is my gravity,’ my weight, my destiny. We become what we love the most, what we send out hearts out to. Our heredity makes us what we are, but our hearts make us who we are.” – Peter Kreeft, The Philosophy of Jesus
Jesus tells us that what we love will become what rules us. In other words, it will be our Master and we cannot love God and love something else because we cannot serve two Masters. Of all the “hard” teachings, this is the one that is most obviously inevitable. It is the one we most often try to escape. Sometimes we explain it away, or try to. Other times we ignore it and hope it will go away. Always, there it is.
Human beings end up at a place in life where we ask ourselves who are we and what is our purpose. What do I want to do with my life? Sometimes we read a book that makes us wonder what we are doing with our “one precious life”. Or we just scroll Instagram at 3 in the morning cyber stalking the girl who bullied us in the fifth grade and suddenly wonder what exactly are we doing with our life. Either way, we get to the question. I do not think it is actually our question either. I think it is God’s question. That moment – every time, however we happen on it — is God asking us if we love Him.
Jesus also did this with Peter after He rose from the dead and was eating fish for breakfast on the beach. First of all, I love Jesus but I question fish for breakfast. Second, He asked Peter: “Do you love me?” Peter answered Him: “Yes Lord, you know I love You.” I would have had a lot of questions first. Starting with “Can we have a breakfast taco for breakfast? I mean, you just rose from the dead. This shouldn’t be a tall order.”
When we find ourselves wondering who we are, why we are here and what is the purpose of life: that is a conversation that God is beginning with us. He is asking us if we love Him and if we do then what does that mean moving forward.
We have all been in this place in a relationship with a friend or someone more than a friend where the rubber meets the road. Where the question of “where are we going” comes up and we have to decide, is this going forward or are we parting ways? That happens with God as well.
If we love God, then everything we do will flow from that. We will not fit in boxes that are built by the world to have everyone fit into. We will not get in line with political labels. We will not read the Church’s documents through the lens of whatever group we belong to. We will be God’s. We know what that looks like. Jesus told us. It will look like feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty and visiting the prisoner. It will be casting out demons in His name and he was not dramatic about it so neither should we be. It will be preaching the Good News to the lost.
It will be us loving our neighbor—even the one with the political sign in their yard that we are tempted to set on fire.
Loving God does not just look like pretty pictures on Instagram and blog posts about how we celebrate Feast Days. It looks like action. It looks like love because it is love. If we love God then our entire life will show it by the way we love everyone around us. If we are identifying as anything other than God’s child, we are serving a different Master.
Leticia Ochoa Adams writes from Texas, on life, death, grief, suicide, faith, motherhood, doubts and whatever (else) happens to be on her mind.