Nothing is more essential than the love of God. It is the first of all virtues, a virtue so necessary, that without it we shall never get to heaven; and it is in order to love God that we are on the earth . . . But the misfortune is that we lavish our love upon objects unworthy of it, and refuse it to him alone who deserves to be infinitely loved. Thus my children, one person will love riches, another will love pleasures; and both will offer to the good God nothing but the languishing remains of a heart worn out in the service of the world . . . God alone . . . deserves that we should love him above all things; more than our possessions,because they are earthly; more than our friends, because they are mortal; more than our life, because it is perishable; more than ourselves, because we belong to him. Our love, my children, if it is true, must be without limit, and it must influence our conduct.
– St. John Vianney