by Vince Eimer
Editor’s note: This is the fourth in Vince Eimer’s seven-part series on journeying through the Lenten season.
All of us have been taught that we are bodies and souls.
I look in the mirror and see my body before me. Old, bald and fed too much over too many years. I am also kept very aware of my body through the aches and pains that have settled in as permanent residents. For each of us, our bodies are pretty obvious. But we are not so sure exactly what our souls are.
I want to share with you a way to love God with all your soul. At this point, it will help to have some understanding of what the soul is. The church teaches that the soul is the intellect and the will.
The intellect is that part of you that knows it knows. It shows itself in reasoning, understanding, remembering and imagining. Those are the powers of the intellect. At its heart, it is you being aware, your awareness.
The will is that part of you that desires and chooses. It is rarely satisfied for very long because it is part of the never-dying soul. The never-dying soul can only be satisfied in its desire by something that is also eternal. Guess what? Only God fits that bill.
So now, you may be asking yourself, “Well then, how do I love God with all my soul?” The path is our choosing to spend time alone with God in silence. It is being present to his always being present to us. The emphasis is not on our thoughts about God or our saying prayers to God or our reading about God. Even the thought of this kind of being with God can be frightening. There is a real emptiness in just being present and aware.
Growing in this path of love is gradual and, eventually, deeply satisfying. It connects us to God, the only source of unending satisfaction. I want to share with you how to build this path. It is simple.
Each day, or even better in the morning and in the evening, sit quietly and say the name of Jesus with each breath you take in. Do not set a time limit. Do this as long as you want to and stop when it seems time to stop. That is all.
Do this each day and you will want to do more. After a while, you will even have to set an alarm not to be late for what’s next. In time, it will have a carry-over effect throughout the day. You become inclined to Jesus and his name pops into your mind with frequency at unexpected times. Your soul begins to glow with his love and life.
Who wouldn’t be satisfied with such a life?