Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lent Day 12: LOVE

Recite the Primo Credo Today in the Morning and in the Evening:

Hear, O Israel:
the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.
~Mark 12:29-31

Today, on the Twelfth Day of Lent, we continue to discuss the Primo Credo, a variation of the Hebrew Shema Yisrael that Jesus himself told us was the bedrock of our entire belief system.

We have been meditating on it now for eleven + days (today is day twelve. and we've had two Sundays that don't 'count' in there, as well) and will continue to do so until Resurrection (Easter) Sunday.

We have been reciting it every morning and every evening, as faithful Followers of YHWH have been doing for thousands of years, and today, we’re moving back toward talking about the key focus of this season for us: the Primo Credo and the Shema Yisrael.

The focus of our meditation will be on LOVE. What does love mean in the context of the Primo Credo? This is a multi-faceted answer, but we will start with the first kind of love that we experience when we begin a relationship with The Lord.


The beginnings of relationships are often hallmarked by this kind of crazy, overpowering passion. The lover cannot keep from talking about and thinking about the object of their affection. No matter what they are doing, their thoughts are on one thing…This is the state of heart God wants us to model with regard to loving Him-that of an Ardent Lover. This is reflected in today’s scripture passage.

Today’s Scripture Passage:
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home
 and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down
and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 6:7
(New International Version)

The medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides, wrote that the language of the first paragraph of the Shema is best understood through the near-universal experience of falling in love, the author sees the remaining two paragraphs as the love that follows "falling in love."

"What is the love of God that is appropriate?
It is to love God with an exceedingly strong love until one's soul is tied to the love of God.
One should be in a continuous rapture, like a person who is 'lovesick,'
whose thoughts cannot turn from his love for a particular woman.
He is preoccupied with her at all times, whether he is sitting or standing,
 whether he is eating or drinking.
Even more intense should the love of God be in the hearts of those who love him,
possessing them always as we are commanded
'with all your heart and with all your soul' (Deuteronomy 6:5).
This is what Solomon expressed allegorically 'for I am sick with love' (Song of Songs 2:5),
 and indeed, the entire Song of Songs is a parable for this concept."
-Maimonides, Laws of Repentance, 10:3

Today, may your thoughts be on cultivating a relationship with God that is characterized by this kind of passionate, ardent love.

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