Loving God and Neighbor: A Twofold Commandment
By Fernando Ocáriz
“If we truly want to serve mankind and the world, and thereby fulfill our Lord’s command, we must love God first. For only in this love and through this love will our service to others—love shown in deeds—be able to imitate the incomparable grandeur of Christ’s heart.” These words by Fr. Ocáriz, sum up the wisdom of this assemblage of his thoughts on God’s love for mankind and our love for God—of which we cannot have too much. Indeed, he states, “to sin by having too much charity, or too much faith and hope, is strictly speaking impossible.” As he juxtaposes secularization and the worship of Man with virtue, justice, and Christian fraternity, Fr. Ocáriz pulls together a complete and sustaining testimonial of true human greatness found only through the ardent desire and fervent action of loving God and Neighbor, as Christ’s heart desires of us all.
Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz, the current Prelate of Opus Dei, studied physics at the University of Barcelona and began his graduate studies in theology at the Pontifical Lateran University, receiving his doctorate from the University of Navarra. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1971. He is Professor Emeritus of Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, an institution he helped found. He has been a consultor of many departments of the Roman Curia. He was appointed Vicar General of the Prelature of Opus Dei in 1994, Auxiliary Vicar in 2014, and was elected Prelate in 2017.