Love with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love God. Love neighbor. (Mark 12:29-31)
The Holy Spirit, infinite Love, moves us to fulfill the two-fold commandment of the new and eternal covenant. Our fulfillment of the commandment, such as it is, relies totally on the divine gift, grace.
But that doesn’t mean that any exercise on our part is futile. We can, and we must, exert ourselves in love. Practice love. Train ourselves in love. By exhausting reps.
Fifty pushups? How about a hundred quiet little acts of kindness? Run five miles? How about patiently bearing with a difficult situation, out of love, for ten hours, ten days, ten months, ten years?
People can get themselves into pretty amazing shape. Homeboy ran from the Santa Monica pier in Los Angeles to Times Square in New York City. Took him 100 days. That’s 29 miles per day. A marathon + a 5K, every day, for 100 days in a row. He wore out thirty pairs of shoes. He arrived in New York on Easter Saturday.
That’s the kind of shape we want our hearts, souls, and minds to be in, for loving God and neighbor.
The love comes from the Holy Spirit. And we co-operate, by pushing ourselves, so that our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths get bigger and more and more capable of love.