45. First Commandment:
love God above all things
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   The Gospel tells us that a doctor of the law came to Jesus to tempt him: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?" The answer was: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment." (Matthew 22, 36 to 38).

    The duty to worship God is included in the first commandment. When the devil tempted Christ asking him to fall down and worship him, the Lord replied, "Begone, Satan, for it is written: 'you shall Worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve" (Matthew 4, 10).

    The worship of the true God is in the book of Daniel as the contrast of the first commandment. To love God, we must recognize before his lordship and then we must worship him; and if we do not do it, it is because we do not know and not love him, having been replaced by the creatures, which are the false gods of selfishness and sin. When Nebuchadnezzar ordered that all worship the golden image he had made, the three Hebrew children refused to obey him, because only God should be worshiped.

    These passages show us the greatness and importance of the first commandment, whose content will be studied.

 A. Choose one of these words and answer: mind, memory, money, worship or think.

 You love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul  
 He said to the demon: you shall adore the Lord your God and him only shall you
 We have to know, love and

  Main ideas

1. Contents of the First Commandment

   God is for man the only Lord. He created man and constantly takes care of us with his providence. Our life and everything we are or have comes from God. Therefore, God can demand of man the recognition and adoration, because man has inalienable ties and obligations with God that make the virtue of religion.

    What are those obligations? Recognize that he is our Lord; believe what has been revealed to us; wait for what he promises; worship him; serve him by fulfilling his will; pray by raising the mind to praise God, giving thanks and asking what we need; and finally love him above all things. The first commandment commands, then, believes, waits for and loves God, practicing the acts of the virtue of religion.

2. The virtue of religion

   This includes the internal acts of the soul, that occur when we do acts of faith, hope and charity; when we worship and pray ; when we thank and ask him for forgiveness; when we want what God wants.

    However, we must also make external acts of worship: go to Mass, kneel before the tabernacle, bend our heads before a crucifix... Men have body and soul, and God is the creator of both. So we have to express our submission and reverence also in external things, as we usually do with our neighbors with a kiss, a greeting, a material gift. Therefore, it is a fundamental right of the individual to freely profess the religion in public and in private.

3. We must always do the will of God

   God is the Lord and we must comply with joy his will, willing to do with love what he loves, as Jesus Christ did: "Father ... not my will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22,42). On the other hand, he is our father who loves us as no one on earth can; hence his will is the best for us, and the true testimony that we love him is to fulfill it, because that is what he wants.

    There are things that God commands and we must do them; others are prohibited and we have to avoid them. Sometimes God asks effort and sacrifice, but we must do so with equal or greater effort.

    To fulfill the will of God implies also discover the calling, trying to follow it faithfully and consistently.

  B. Choose the correct answer in parentheses: 

 We must (..................)  which has been revealed.

 We (......................) which has been promised.

 We can (....................) God doing his will.

 It commands us to believe, hope and love God (....................) mandamiento.

 Faith, hope and love are (...................) of the soul.

 Going to a mass is an (...................)

 Kneeling before the sanctuary is an act (...................... )  

 Giving thank and apologize is an act (....................)  

 Jesus said: Father, not my (...................) but yours be done. 

 We should (.....................) the calling and follow it.

4. Sins against the first commandment

   Sins against the first commandment are those that threat against the faith (voluntary doubt, unbelief, heresy, apostasy, schism, read books that attack the faith and morals, discuss issues of faith without adequate preparation ... ) against hope (despair, presumption) and against charity (indifference, ingratitude, Luke warmness, hatred, envy, fights, scandal and any mortal sin).

    But specific sins against this commandment are those that oppose the virtue of religion. The most important are:

    a) Superstition: it is to attribute to certain objects, signs or words disproportionate effects, invoking any creature as if God. It is a departure from the worship that we owe to God, leading to idolatry and various forms of divination and magic.

    b) Idolatry: it is to worship false gods or give a creature the worship due to God. It is a serious sin that God severely condemned. Today many people also put in place of God idols like money, comfort, etc.

    c) Divination, spiritualism and magic: it is to invoke occult forces (deceased, and even the demon) to find out unknown things and make wonderful things, as if they were miracles.

    d) Sacrilege: it is to profane or treat unworthily people, objects and places consecrated to God.

    e) Tempt God in words or deeds, testing his goodness and omnipotence.

    f) Irreligion, which is the sin of having no religion, and despising God.

    g) Atheism which denies God, and agnosticism, that disregard God.

5. The veneration of the Virgin and the saints

   Christians worship God. But besides we worship and invoke the Virgin, the angels and the saints. In this way, we honor God in them; they are like a mirror in which we see something of the infinite perfection of God…We also honor God by venerating the saints celebrating his memory and asking for their intercession.

    So Christians have images of the Virgin, angels and saints. By honoring the images and relics, we honor the saints.

6. The importance of the first commandment

   The first commandment is the holiest and principal. Fulfilling it well, we fulfill all the others; and we cannot forget that love God above all things comes first.

Catechesis course. Mister Jaime Pujol Balcells and Mister Jesus Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. with the permission of the authors

  C. Indicate the correct answer in parentheses: 

 They are sinful, the acts against the (......................)

 To attribute to objects, signs or words special effects is (....................)

 To worship false gods is (....................)

 To invoke hidden forces is (.................... )

 To profane people, objects or consecrated places is (...................)

 To test his goodness and omnipotence is (..................)

 Not having religion and despise God is  (.......................)

 To deny God is (..................)

 Christians (..................) God.

 We also (....................) the Virgin, the angels and the saints.

  Catechisms questions

1. What order the first commandment?  The first commandment order to believe, wait and love God and practice the acts of the virtue of religion.

2. What are the acts of the virtue of religion?  The acts of the virtue of religion are to worship God, to pray and to worship.

3. Who sin against the first commandment?  Sin against the first commandment those who sin against faith, hope and charity or against the virtue of religion.

4. What are the principal sins against the virtue of religion?  The main sins against the virtue of religion are idolatry, sacrilege and superstition.

5. Does not have religion is a sin?  Not having a religion is serious sin because it is despise God.

  D. Choose the correct answer. The possible answers are below: 



 What order the first commandment?
 What are the acts of the virtue of religion?
 Who sin against the first commandment?
 What are the principal sins against the virtue of religion?
 Does not have a religion is a sin?




 Those who sin against faith, hope and charity or against the virtue of religion.


 Yes, it is a serious sin, because it is despise God.


 Believe, wait and love God and practice the acts of the virtue of religion.


 Idolatry, sacrilege and superstition.


 To worship God and to pray.

  Purposes of Christian lifefe

- Ensure at all times fulfill the will of God expressed in the commandments.

- Do acts of faith, hope and charity (you can use those contained in the "Prayers and practices of Christian life" section).


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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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