What is the single most important ethical precept in your faith?
In response to the question about the greatest of all the commandments, Jesus said: "The first is Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mk. 12:29-31) Jesus taught us that the fullness of the Law was found in the law of love: the love of God and the love of our neighbour.
This one precept of love is itemized in the Decalogue which literally means ten words. The first three speak of the love of God, the last seven deal with the love of our neighbours. Adopting them as a way of life, Christians realize their call to be the light of the world. These precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound and nourished by liturgical life. They are meant to guarantee the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth of our love of God and neighbour.
Thus, a life lived on the basis of this one command which sums up the ten, is the normal flowering of the baptismal grace which makes each of us members of Christs body, the Church. That life is nourished and supported by the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, where we receive the great gift of Gods mercy, which allows us to better put Christs great commandment into practice. And we can never forget that Jesus teaching underscores that their significance lies less in the prohibitions and more in their connection to the God of goodness, the God of covenant.