We are supposed to love God, love neighbor, and love self, in that order.
Loving God has always been pretty easy for me and I know that this is a blessing. Of course, I have been angry with God in my life but I still always love Him. A few Sundays ago the priest’s homily was about the Holy Trinity and which of three we most identify with. I would have to say that as much as I love Jesus, God is always numero uno with me. Now being a Catholic, and believing in the Holy Trinity, it’s pretty silly to put one above the other when the three are one. But I do see God most as a father. That probably has something to do with the great Dad I got in my human life. I loved him dearly so it was easy for me to see God as father and love him too. The two loves reinforced each other.
Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is a form of devotion to the person of Jesus, and especially to His Love. The sacred heart is a symbol of the love of Jesus. One of the statues in my church is the sacred heart. There is something about looking into the eyes of Jesus and seeing his welcoming hands and feeling the love from his heart that is one of the most peaceful experiences I’ve ever had. My grandmother had a painting of Jesus with the exposed sacred heart. The kind where Jesus’ eyes follow you around the room. Love of Jesus is like the love of an older brother for me. Jesus as friend.
And then there is the holy spirit. The holy spirit being the love between the farther and the son. This is the part of the Holy Trinity that I think about the least but it is so important because when I feel God in me, it is invariably the holy spirit that I feel.
Love of neighbor has always been smooth because I’m a people person and I just plain like people. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like everybody but I was voted mostly likely to like everyone!
Love of self. This has been the hardest for me. I’ve struggled with self-hate, poor self-image, guilt, and the rest. I can truly say that I do love myself today and love me more each day. I continue to use love of God and love of neighbor to foster more self-love. I look for the God in me. I witness my own kindness towards others to grow my love for myself. And I feel the love from the sacred heart of Jesus inside me, radiating out, and filling me with love.