Here is how to pray the Act of Love, actively professing your love of God and your neighbor as yourself.
Often listed as the last theological virtue, love (more commonly referred to as “charity”) is another essential way of life for the Christian. Many prayer books have included instructions on how to pray an Act of Love, summarizing the essential characteristics of Christian love.
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that, “Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. Jesus makes charity the new commandment, the fullness of the law. ‘It is the bond of perfection’ (Colossians 3:14) and the foundation of the other virtues to which it gives life, inspiration, and order. Without charity ‘I am nothing’ and ‘I gain nothing’ (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).”
Charity is another one of the hallmarks of being a Christian, as the popular hymn recalls to mind, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
Yet, this type of love should not only include love of neighbor, but first and foremost, love of God. It is this love that informs our love of neighbor, as God is love itself.
Here are the instructions in the Compendium on how to pray the Act of Love.
O Lord God, I love you above all things
and I love my neighbor for your sake
because you are the highest, infinite and perfect
good, worthy of all my love.
In this love I intend to live and die.