The queen of graces

(Thomas Watson, "The Ten Commandments")

"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
 all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and
 greatest commandment." Matthew 22:37-38

Love to God is a holy expansion or enlargement of
soul, by which it is carried with delight after God, as
the chief good--"a delight in God, as our treasure."

Love is the soul of religion; it is a momentous grace.
If love is lacking, there can be no true religion in the
heart. All else is but pageantry--merely a devout
to God.

Love ameliorates and sweetens all the duties of
religion; it makes them savory food, which God
delights in.

As to the excellence of this grace--love is the first and
great commandment. Love is the queen of graces; it
outshines all others, as the sun outshines the planets. 

Love is the most durable grace. Faith and hope will shortly
cease--but love will remain. Thus love carries away the
garland from all other graces, as it is the most long-lived
grace. Love is a bud of eternity!

Love to God must be pure and genuine. He must be loved
chiefly for Himself. We must love God, not only for His benefits
--but for those intrinsic excellencies with which He is crowned.
We must love God--not only for the good which flows from Him
—but for the good which is in Him. True love is not mercenary;
he who is deeply in love with God, needs not be hired with
rewards, he cannot but love God for the beauty of His holiness.
Though it is not unlawful to look for benefits, we must not love
God for His benefits alone--for then it is not love of God, but

Love to God must be with all the heart. We must
not love God a little--give Him a drop or two of our
love; but the main stream must flow to Him.

The mind must think of God,
the will must choose Him,
the affections must pant after Him.

God will not have the heart divided. We must love Him
with our whole heart. Though we may love the creature
--yet it must be a subordinate love. Love to God must
be highest, as oil swims above the water.

Love to God must be flaming. To love coldly, is the
same as not to love. The spouse is said to be, "love-sick."
Canticles 2:5. The seraphim are so called, because of their
burning love. Love turns saints into seraphim; it makes
them burn in holy love to God. Many waters cannot
quench this love.