Evening Meditations for the First Monday in Lent ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

REFLECTIONS AND AFFECTIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST

I.

Now behold our loving Jesus already on the point of being sacrificed on the altar of the Cross for our salvation, in that blessed night which preceded His Passion. Let us hear Him saying to His Disciples at the last supper that He takes with them, With desire have I desired to eat this pasch with you. (Luke xxii. 15). St. Laurence Justinian, considering these words, asserts that they were all words of love: “With desire have I desired; this is the voice of love.” As if our loving Redeemer had said, O men, know that this night, in which My Passion will begin, has been the time most longed after by Me during the whole of My life; because I shall now make known to you, through My sufferings and My bitter death, how much I love you, and will thereby oblige you to love Me, in the strongest way it is possible for Me to do. A certain author says that in the Passion of Jesus Christ the Divine Omnipotence united itself to Love, –Love sought to love man to the utmost extent that Omnipotence could arrive at; and Omnipotence sought to satisfy Love as far as its desire could reach.

O Sovereign God! Thou hast given Thyself entirely to me; and how, then, shall I not love Thee with my whole self? I believe, –yes, I believe Thou hast died for me; and how can I, then, love Thee so little as constantly to forget Thee, and all that Thou hast suffered for me? And why, Lord, when I think on Thy Passion, am I not quite inflamed with Thy love, and do not, then, become entirely Thine, like so many holy souls who, after meditating on Thy sufferings, have remained the happy prey of Thy love, and have given themselves entirely to Thee?

II.

The spouse in the Canticles said that whenever her Spouse introduced her into the sacred cellar of His Passion, she saw herself so assaulted on all sides by Divine love, that, all languishing with love, she was constrained to seek relief for her wounded heart: The king brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples; because I languish with love. (Cant. ii 4, 5). And how is it possible for a soul to enter upon the meditation of the Passion of Jesus Christ without being wounded, as by so many darts of love, by those sufferings and agonies which so greatly afflicted the Body and Soul of our loving Lord, and without being sweetly constrained to love Him Who loved her so much? O Immaculate Lamb, thus lacerated, covered with Blood, and disfigured, as I behold Thee on this Cross, how beautiful and how worthy of love dost Thou appear to me! Yes, because all these wounds that I behold in Thee are so many signs and proofs of the great love Thou bearest to me. Oh, if all men did but contemplate Thee often in that state in which Thou wert one day made a spectacle to all Jerusalem, who could help being seized with Thy love? O my beloved Lord, accept me to love Thee, since I give Thee all my senses and all my will. And how can I refuse Thee anything, if Thou hast not refused me Thy Blood, Thy life, and all Thyself?

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