We all want to love God. But do we understand how to do so effectively? To love the Lord, we can’t just admire Him from afar. We must seek a relationship with Him—this is what He made us for. Here are seven strategies that have helped me fall in love with the Lord. Some are habits already, and others I am very much still working on. Find a few to try yourself!
1. Keep a journal.
Journaling is one of the most personal forms of writing out there. We often record thoughts and impressions in our journals that we wouldn’t want other people to see. It is a creative outlet and a powerful processing tool—I don’t often fully grasp my thoughts and feelings until I have written them down. Invite the Lord into this intimate space the next time you journal, or if you haven’t yet tried journaling, invite Him in when you do. He wants to be a part of your inner dialogue.
2. Walk regularly.
It’s age-old advice for a reason: when you feel backed into a corner, take a walk. This is one of the best strategies I have for processing hurt and anger and gaining a broader perspective on the minutiae of any situation. I can’t tell you how many times in college when, frustrated with my research and unable to write another word, a walk saved me from despair. Put physical distance between yourself and your day, and I promise you, you will return with a fresh perspective. And leave your phone behind when you go.
3. Attend daily mass.
This is one I’m still working on, so let’s try it together. Here’s my logic: we are seeking a relationship with God. How do you develop a relationship with a person you only see once a week? That’s like a dating relationship in its early stages. God deserves more than that—He loves us more than an earthly father or husband. He offers himself for us at the altar every day. How much more grace would be available in our lives if we accepted His gift as regularly?
4. Copy down prayers.
As with journaling, an effective way to pray is by writing. Numerous studies have shown that handwriting improves memory and retention. So writing out prayers helps you in two ways: it slows you down, allowing you to really meditate upon each of the words, and it helps you memorize the prayers, by creating a stronger impression in your brain than reading them silently would.
5. Pray the Litany of Humility.
I discovered this powerful prayer in college. It offers an examination of conscience as it brings to light all the ways that we rely upon ourselves and measure our success by the world’s standards, instead of relying upon God for strength and security. Praying this litany may feel uncomfortable but getting in the habit of saying it is a small way to begin conforming your will to God’s.
6. Call your grandma.
Or your mom, dad, sibling, grandpa—any family member you don’t see every day. Ask them how they’re doing. Tell them you love them. How we love the Lord is often directly correlated to how we love the people in our lives, and our families specifically. Don’t take loved ones for granted, but be present to them and stay in touch.
7. Make a morning offering.
We need God at the start of the day. How else are we going to have a proper compass when inevitable, unanticipated hurdles present themselves? Like a cup of coffee or a healthy breakfast, making a morning offering gives your spiritual life a burst of energy at the very beginning of the day when it counts. Here is great morning offering podcast—the perfect length to listen while sipping coffee or driving to school or work.