Evening Meditations for Holy Saturday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

O INCARNATION, O REDEMPTION, O PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST! O SWEET NAMES!

I.

Oh, the unhappy state of a soul in sin which has lost God! It lives on in wretchedness, for it lives without God. God sees it, but no longer loves it; He hates and abhors it. There was, then, my soul, a time when thou didst live without God. The sight of thee no longer rejoiced the Heart of Jesus Christ, as it did when thou wast in His grace, but wast hateful to Him. The Blessed Virgin regarded thee with compassion, but detested thy deformity. When hearing Mass, thou didst see Jesus Christ in the consecrated Host, Who had become thine enemy. Ah, my God, despised and lost by me, pardon me and let me find Thee again! I wished to lose Thee, but Thou wouldst not abandon me. And if Thou hast not yet returned to me, I pray Thee to come to me now that I repent with all my heart of having offended Thee. Let me be sensible of Thy return to me, by feeling a great sorrow for my sins, and a great love towards Thee.

My beloved Lord, rather than see myself separated from Thee and deprived of Thy grace, I am content to suffer any punishment. Eternal Father, for the love of Jesus Christ, I pray Thee to give me grace never more to offend Thee. May I die rather than turn my back upon Thee again!

Ah! my crucified Jesus, look on me with the same love with which Thou didst look on me when dying on the Cross for me; look on me and have pity on me; give me a general pardon for all the displeasure I have given Thee; give me holy perseverance; give me Thy holy love; give me a perfect conformity to Thy will; give me Paradise, that I may love Thee there for ever. I deserve nothing, but Thy Wounds encourage me to look for every good from Thee. Ah! Jesus of my soul, by that love which made Thee die for me, give me Thy love! Take away from me all affection for creatures, give me resignation in tribulation, and make Thyself the object of all my affections, that from this day forward I may love none other than Thee.

Thou hast created me, Thou hast redeemed me, Thou hast made me a Christian, Thou hast preserved me whilst, I was in sin, Thou hast pardoned me many times; above all, instead of chastisements Thou hast increased Thy favours to me. Who should love Thee, if I do not? Arise, and let Thy mercy triumph over me; and may the fire of love with which I burn for Thee be as great as the fire which should have devoured me in hell. O my Jesus, my Love, my Treasure, my Paradise, my All!

II.

O Incarnation, O Redemption, O Passion of Jesus Christ! O Calvary, O Scourges, O Thorns, O Nails, O Cross, that did torment my Lord! O sweet names, which remind me of the love a God has had for me, never depart from my mind and my heart. Remind me always of the pains Jesus my Redeemer willed to suffer for me! O most sacred Wounds, ye are the perpetual resting-place of my soul; ye are the blessed furnaces where it forever burns with Divine love!

My beloved Jesus, I have deserved hell, and to be for ever separated from Thee! I refuse not the fire, nor the other pains of hell, if Thou for my just punishment dost will to send me there; but what I cannot consent to is, not to be able to love Thee any more. Let me love Thee and then send me where Thou wilt. It is just that I should suffer for my sins, but it is not just that I should have to hate and curse Him Who created me, Who redeemed me, and Who has loved me so much! Justice requires that I should love and bless Thee for ever. I bless Thee, then, and love Thee, Jesus my Love, and I hope to love and bless Thee for all eternity.

My sweet Redeemer, I know Thou dost wish me to be wholly Thine. Ah I permit not that, from this day forward, creatures should have any part in that love which belongs altogether to Thee. Thou alone dost deserve all my affections, Thou alone art infinitely beautiful, Thou alone hast truly loved me; Thee alone, then, will I love, and I will do all I can to please Thee. I renounce all,– pleasures, riches, honours, and all the creatures of the earth. Thou alone, my Jesus, are sufficient for me. Away from me all earthly affections! Once upon a time you had a place in my heart; but then I was blind: now that God by His grace has enlightened me, and has made me to know the vanity of this world and the love which He has borne me, and that He desires me to give Him all my love, I will consecrate it to Him alone. Yes, my Jesus, take possession of my whole heart; and if I know not how to give it to Thee entirely as Thou desirest, take it Thyself, and make it Thine own. I love Thee, my God, with all my heart; I love Thee more than myself. Trahe me post te: draw me, my Lord, all to Thee, and destroy in me the love of all created things.

O Paradise, O country of loving souls, O kingdom of love, O sure haven where God is loved for all eternity, and where there is no more fear of losing Him! When shall I pass thy threshold, and see myself free from this miserable body, and delivered from the many enemies that continually try to deceive me in order to deprive me of Divine grace? Ah, my crucified Jesus, make known to me the immense riches Thou hast prepared for the souls that love Thee. Give me a great desire of possessing Paradise, so that, forgetting this world, I may there make my continual abode; and whilst I live, may I have no other desire than to come to see Thee and love Thee face to face in Thy kingdom. I do not deserve it, and I know that at one time my name was written amongst those who were condemned to hell; but now that I am, as I hope, in Thy grace, I beseech Thee, by that Blood Thou didst shed for me on the Cross, to write me in the Book of Life. Thou hast died to win Paradise for me: I wish for it, I ardently desire it, and I hope to attain it through Thy merits, that I may there ascend to be consumed with Thy love by loving Thee with all my strength. There, forgetting myself and everything else, I shall think only of loving Thee; I shall desire nothing but to love Thee, and I shall do nothing but love Thee. O my Jesus, when shall this be? O Mary, Mother of God, by thy prayers bring me to Paradise. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Amen.

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