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Girl looking into the horizonA couple of weeks ago, I asked the ladies in my small women’s group what it really looked like to love God. I was essentially asking — what do we do, what can we do, to show God that we love Him?

I think it’s an easy and a hard question to answer.

I guess my mind first wanders to the thought, “Well, how do I show love to my parents?” Because maybe the answer is to love similarly to that.

And the way I love my parents is by respecting them, respecting their rules when I lived in their house, serving them when I can, listening to them and their advice, thanking them for what they do for me, and remembering them and calling them once in a while.

I can do these things for God. So I can see how I can love Him in those ways.

But are there more ways He calls us to love Him?

He’s not just our parent, but He’s our creator, our Lord.

He has to reign first in our hearts.

How do we show Him that we accept Him as those things, and that we allow Him to reign?

I think we gotta get out of the way, and take a step down from our own throne in our mind.

I think we have to let go of the things that we hold onto tightly in our heart — things that don’t point to Him and things that take room away from Him.

We have to make space for Him. And time.

That means de-cluttering sometimes. Things. People. What we spend our time doing. Sometimes even our own thoughts need de-cluttering.

And all the time, we have to ask ourselves what we’re attached to — and we have to work on letting those things go.

Detachment is a way to holiness, to sanctification. We will be purified in Purgatory if we don’t purify ourselves in this lifetime.

Take this story from Mark for example:

“At that point, Jesus, “looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me’” (Mark 10:21). Jesus gave him the answer. Jesus revealed to this sincere and well-instructed young man what was holding him back: an inordinate attachment to his wealth, and to the comfort and the apparent self-sufficiency that wealth brings. Jesus showed him the true path to deeper communion with God. The young man now knew the truth about how he could take the next step toward spiritual maturity.” (Fr. Bartunek)

To unite ourselves even closer with God, we have to clear the path that stands between the two of us. Sometimes there are a lot of things on that path that can steer us in the wrong direction. God asks us to move those aside and come forward — “Come, the Lord is calling you!” (The motto at the St. Anne Basilica in Quebec, Canada).