How do you love God with your mind? Using the example of St. Thomas Aquinas, Dr. Sri explains how learning more about God can lead us to a greater love for him. With stories and meaningful insight, Dr. Sri reveals how we can love God with our minds.
Snippet from the Show
The more we learn about God, the more reasons we have to love him.
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How do you love God with your mind?
In Luke 10:27, Christ says, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” No doubt, you have heard this quotation before. However, have you ever wondered, “How do you love the Lord with all your mind?” In today’s culture, love is more often associated with emotions and feelings, not the mind. So, what does it mean to love the Lord with your mind?
St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas is incredibly helpful in learning what it means to love with the mind. St. Thomas Aquinas is known for being a Doctor of the Church, author of the Summa Theologica, and for all around being an intellectual giant. What is not often discussed is that St. Thomas Aquinas was a lover. He wanted to know God with his mind so that he could love him even more. St. Thomas Aquinas did not just learn and then share what he learned with others. He spent much of his time in prayer, weeping over the Lord’s love for him. He was so aware of this love because he came to know it with his mind. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote more than just scholarly works. He wrote poems and hymns, many of which we still use today. Each of these poems are hymns are shining examples of St. Thomas Aquinas’s love for God.
Learning from St. Thomas Aquinas
First, it is important to note that we do not have to be on the same level intellectually as St. Thomas Aquinas in order to love God with our mind. Each of us is capable of loving God with the mind we have, whether we are an “A” student or a “C” student. The important thing is to love God with the mind we have. The second thing we can learn from St. Thomas Aquinas is that nothing compares to the love and glory of God. While in Orvieto, St. Thomas Aquinas encountered Christ in prayer. Christ spoke to him from the crucifix saying, “Thomas, you have written well of me.” At this moment, St. Thomas Aquinas realized that everything he had written was nothing compared to the glory of God Himself. The love of God is what we must seek above all else.
To Know Is to Love
St. Thomas Aquinas was a lover who wanted to know and love everything about his beloved. Frank Sheed wrote, “Knowledge serves love in a still better way because each new thing learned and mediated on about God is a new reason for loving Him.” Do you want to love God? Learn about Him. Read Scripture. Discover the Faith. Wherever you are in your knowledge of the faith, you have room to grow. If you are a beginner, find a way to grow whether it be a book, bible study, or small group. If you are fairly knowledgeable in your faith, find a way to stretch yourself. Select a topic where you could gain a deeper understanding.
Do Not Separate the Head and the Heart
In the Bible, the heart is so much more about the will/choice. Love is an act of the will and to love someone is to will their good. Even when we don’t feel like it, we are called to love. The heart is not about emotions. It is primarily an act of the will.
Forming Your Mind
It is so important to form our minds to know what is actually good rather than what the world thinks is good. If we are going to love Jesus with our mind, we need to detach from what the world is telling us. Any media we consume has an impact on how our mind is formed. It can change what we know to be good according to our faith. Forming our minds according to the faith, turns our desires towards God.
Theology for Beginners by F.J. Sheed.
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Dr. Edward Sri is a theologian, well-known Catholic speaker, and author of several best-selling books. His work with Ascension includes study programs such as A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion and Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother. Several of Dr. Sri’s programs were filmed on-site in the Holy Land, and feature immersive video explorations of the sacred sites where Jesus, Mary, and the Apostles lived and died.
Dr. Sri is the host of the acclaimed Ascension podcast All Things Catholic with Dr. Edward Sri. Together with Curtis Martin, Dr. Sri is a founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), of which he serves as senior vice president of Apostolic Outreach.
Dr. Sri lives with his wife Beth and their children in Colorado.