Is not loving God above all else a mortal sin?

I struggle with the thought that not loving God above all else is a mortal sin. I would always rather be doing something fun whenever I pray, and I think I feel a stronger love for my family than for God. It’s kind of hard to control.

Is this mortal sin and how can I overcome it?

There are many on this forum, I’ve noticed, that are preoccupied with examining every little thing they do through the lens of “sin.”

While sin is real, I doubt very much God gave us the gift of life to spend the eighty some-odd years we have on this rock obsessing about minutiae.

I think we’d all, deep down, prefer to be doing something else when we pray, in a manner of speaking. Think about it - what’s feels better? Kneeling in prayer at the foot of your bed or, let’s say, eating a piece of chocolate cake?

In that sense, one is clearly “preferable” than the other.

However, I think once we begin overly scrutinizing such natural feelings, explaining them in the context of sin, we begin to lose sight of the forest through the trees.

Try, of course, to focus your mind on God when you pray. What helps for me is talking to Him like I’m talking to a close friend. He understands that as humans, we have finite attention spans and capacities for discipline. The trick is to constantly try to improve yourself.

As to whether or not what you feel in the course of prayer would constitute a mortal sin, I doubt it, but I’m just one sinner talking to another.

The beautiful thing is, God has UNLIMITED mercy, and will help anyone who asks. Ask Him to help you! He will!

Peace be with you!

When Christ is asked what the most important commandment is he responds with (paraphrased) Love the Lord above all else and then love one another. NOW, loving your family is a way of showing love for God. Just because you’d rather spend time playing in the yard with your kids instead of sitting in a library reading the writings of the Church fathers does not constitute a sin. If you vocation in life is raising a family then that is what God wants you to do. Raise your family to love the Lord and you are doing good. If however, you skip out on mass because someone in your family doesn’t want to go because they were up to late, and you don’t want to make them mad at you by making them go, then I’d say that it probably sinful. Hope that helps. God bless,


A lot the saints were all about denying the body all pleasure whatsoever so they could love God more. It seems like eating the cake is a step away from God, if you could have prayed instead. I don’t get it.

I can love God above all else…

and this can still be compatible with my choosing to go see a (good) movie with friends instead of going to adoration etc…

Yes love God above all! But do not scruple over liking cake (reasonably).

Also…having strong feelings for ones family is compatible with love of God above all else…unless they want you to commit a mortal sin and you do it! Etc.

Also remember that strong feelings are not the only (or even a very reliable) measure of love…

The fact of natural strong feelings for ones family and not having as strong “feelings” for God does not mean you love them more than God…

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