Singularly Devoted

June 19, 2021
Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today

Saint Romuald, Abbot—Optional Memorial

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Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24

Mammon is another word for money. Jesus is clear that you must choose to serve either God or money, but not both. A divided heart does not suffice. Saint John of the Cross, in His spiritual classic “Ascent to Mount Carmel,” explains something similar. He says that our desires must become completely purified to the point that all we desire is God and His holy will. Every other desire in life must be purged away so that we are singularly devoted to God. Does this mean that God and God alone should be the object of all of our love? Yes, indeed. But that truth must be properly understood.

When we consider the calling we have been given from God to love, it is true that we must love not only God, but also many other things in life. We must love family, friends, neighbors, and even our enemies. Hopefully we also love other aspects of our lives, such as our vocation, our job, our home, a certain pastime, etc. So how do we love God with singular devotion when we also have many other things we must love?

The answer is quite simple. The love of God is such that when we make God the singular object of our love and devotion, the love we have for God will supernaturally overflow. This is the nature of the love of God. As we love God, we will find that God calls us to love Him by loving other people, and even various aspects of our lives. As we love what God wills us to love and as we express our love for all that is contained in the will of God, we are still loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

But back to our Scripture above. Why is it that we cannot love God and money? “Mammon” in this passage must be understood as a love that becomes an unhealthy attachment and desire. Money is such that we can “love” it by allowing our desires for it to become disordered and, thus, exclude the will of God from that “love.” Money is not evil when it is used solely in accord with the will of God. In that case, the money we use will give God great glory. But when money, or any other object of our desire, begins to take on a life of its own, so to speak, then that desire will be at odds with our love of God. To love God and God alone means we love God and all that He wills us to love in life.

Reflect, today, upon the necessity of being singularly devoted to God. As you commit yourself to this exclusive love, consider also whom and what God calls you to love in and through Him. Where does His perfect will lead you, and how are you called to show your love of God through the love of others? Consider, also, any ways in which you have allowed an unhealthy attachment to money or anything else in life to distract you from the one and ultimate purpose of your life. Allow God to purge those unhealthy desires and false “loves” from your heart so that you will be free to love as you were made to love.

My Lord and God, You are worthy of all of my love. You and You alone must become the single focus of all of my love. As I love You, dear Lord, help me to discover all that Your will directs me to love more and all that Your will calls me to detach from. May I choose only You and that which is contained in Your holy and perfect will. Jesus, I trust in You.

Catholic Daily Reflections
Ordinary Time: May 24–August 31

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Saint of the Day – Saint Romuald, Abbot

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Featured image above: The Sermon of the Beatitudes By James Tissot, via Wikimedia Commons