Evening Meditations for the Second Wednesday in Lent ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

REFLECTIONS AND AFFECTIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST

I.

As soon as He arrived at the pretorium (as was revealed to St. Bridget), our loving Saviour at the command of the servants, stripped Himself of His garments, embraced the column, and then laid on it His hands to have them bound. O God, already is begun the cruel torture! O Angels of Heaven, come and look on this sorrowful spectacle; and if it be not permitted you to deliver your King from this barbarous slaughter which men have prepared for Him, at least come and weep for compassion. And thou, my soul, imagine thyself to be present at this horrible tearing of the Flesh of thy beloved Redeemer. Look on Him, how He stands, –thy afflicted Jesus, –with His head bowed, looking on the ground, blushing all over for shame, He awaits this great torture. Behold these barbarians, like so many ravening dogs, are already with the scourges attacking this innocent Lamb. See how one beats Him on the breast, another strikes His shoulders, another smites His loins and His legs; even His Sacred Head and His beautiful face cannot escape the blows. Ah, me! already flows that Divine Blood from every part; already with that Blood are saturated the scourges, the hands of the executioners, the column, and the ground. “He is wounded,” mourns St. Peter Damian, “over His whole Body, torn with the scourges; now they twine round His shoulders, now round His legs–weals upon weals, wounds added to fresh wounds.” Ah, cruel men, with whom are you dealing thus? Stay–stay; know that you are mistaken. The Man Whom you are torturing is innocent and holy; it is myself who am the culprit; to me, to me who have sinned, are these stripes and torments due. But you regard not what I say. And how canst Thou, O Eternal Father, bear with this great injustice? How canst Thou behold Thy beloved Son suffering thus, and not interfere on His behalf? What is the crime that He has ever committed, to deserve so shameful and so severe a punishment?

II.

For the wickedness of my people have I struck him. (Is. liii. 8). I well know, says the Eternal Father, that this My Son is innocent; but inasmuch as He has offered Himself as a satisfaction to My justice for all the sins of mankind, it is fitting that I should so abandon Him to the rage of His enemies. Hast Thou, then, my adorable Saviour, in compensation for our sins, and especially for those of impurity,–that most prevalent vice of mankind–been willing to have Thy most pure Flesh torn in pieces? And who, then, will not exclaim with St. Bernard, “How unspeakable is the love of the Son of God towards sinners!”

Ah, my Lord, smitten with the scourge, I return Thee thanks for such great love, and I grieve that I am myself, by reason of my sins, one of those who scourge Thee. O my Jesus, I detest all those wicked pleasures which have cost Thee so much pain. Oh, how many years ought I not already to have been in the flames of hell! And why hast Thou so patiently waited for me until now? Thou hast borne with me, in order that at length, overcome by so many wiles of love, I might give myself up to love Thee, abandoning sin. O my beloved Redeemer, I will offer no further resistance to Thy loving affection; I desire to love Thee henceforth to the uttermost of my power. But Thou already knowest my weakness; Thou knowest how often I have betrayed Thee. Do Thou detach me from all earthly affections which hinder me from being all Thine own. Put me frequently in mind of the love which Thou hast borne me, and of the obligation I am under of ever loving Thee. In Thee I place all my hopes, my God, my Love, my All

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