Evening Meditations for Septuagesima Wednesday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

HOW MUCH IT PLEASES JESUS CHRIST THAT WE SUFFER FOR LOVE OF HIM

I.

If any one will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke ix. 23).

Jesus Christ says: If any one will come after me. He does not say to me; but, after me. The Lord desires that we should come close after Him. We must therefore walk in the same road of thorns and sufferings in which He walked. He goes before and rests not until He reaches Calvary where He dies. Wherefore if we love Him we must follow Him even unto death. Thus it is necessary that every one should deny himself; that is deny himself in everything self-love demands, and that is not pleasing to Jesus Christ.

Our Lord says further: Let him take up his cross daily and follow me. Let him take up; it avails little to carry the cross by compulsion. All sinners bear it, but without merit; to bear it with merit, we must embrace it voluntarily. His cross; under this word is implied every kind of tribulation, which is called a cross by Jesus Christ, in order that the name may render it sweet, from the remembrance that He died on the Cross for the love of us.

O my Jesus, Thou alone hast been able to teach us these maxims of salvation, all contrary to the maxims of the world; and Thou alone canst give us strength to suffer crosses with patience. I do not pray Thee to exempt me from suffering; I only pray Thee to give me strength to suffer with patience and resignation.

II.

Jesus also says his cross. Some persons when they receive spiritual consolations, offer themselves to suffer as great things as were endured by the Martyrs, — hot irons, piercing nails and tortures; but then they cannot endure a headache, the carelessness of a friend, the ill-temper of a relative. God does not ask you to endure hot irons, piercing nails, and tortures; but He desires that you should suffer patiently this pain, this annoyance, this contempt. Some people would fain go to suffer in a desert, and perform great acts of penance; but yet they cannot endure such a one for Superior, or such a one for their companion in their duties; but God desires that we should bear that cross which He gives us to suffer, and not that which we would ourselves choose.

He says daily. Some persons embrace the cross at the beginning, when it comes to them; but when it lasts long they say, “Now I can bear no more.” Yet God wills that we should go on to endure it with patience, and that we should bear it continually and even till death. See, then, that salvation and perfection consist in these three words, let him deny; we must deny to our self-love whatever is not right: let him take up; we must embrace the cross that God gives us: let him follow; we must follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ even unto death.

O Eternal Father, Thy Son has promised that whatever we ask Thee in His Name, Thou wilt give it to us. Behold, we ask this of Thee: give us grace to endure with patience the pains of this life; hear us for the love of Jesus Christ. And Thou, O my Jesus, pardon me all the offences I have committed against Thee, in that I have not been willing to suffer with patience the troubles Thou hast sent me. Give me Thy love, that it may impart strength to suffer all for love of Thee. Deprive me of everything, of every earthly good, of relatives, friends, health of body, of every comfort; deprive me even of life; but not of Thy love. Give me Thyself, and I ask no more. O most holy Virgin, obtain for me an enduring love of Jesus Christ, even till death.

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