Evening Meditations for Easter Sunday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

“YOUR SORROW SHALL BE TURNED INTO JOY.”

I.

Oh, happy are we, if we suffer with patience on earth the troubles of this present life! Distress of circumstances, fears, bodily infirmities, persecutions, and crosses of every kind, will one day all come to an end; and if we be saved, they will all become for us subjects of joy and glory in Paradise: Your sorrow, says the Saviour to encourage us, shall be turned into joy. (John xvi. 20). So great are the delights of Paradise that they can neither be explained nor understood by us mortals: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Cor. ii 9). Beauties like to the beauties of Paradise, eye hath never seen; harmonies like unto the harmonies of Paradise, ear hath never heard; nor hath ever human heart gained the comprehension of the joys God hath prepared for those that love Him. Beautiful is the sight of a landscape adorned with hills, plains, woods, and views of the sea. Beautiful is the sight of a garden abounding with fruits, flowers, and fountains. Oh, how much more beautiful is Paradise!

To understand how great the joys of Paradise are, it is enough to know that in that blessed realm resides a God omnipotent, Whose care it is to render happy His beloved souls. St. Bernard says that Paradise is a place where “there is nothing thou wouldst not, and everything thou wouldst.” There thou shalt not find any thing displeasing to thyself, and every thing thou dost desire thou shalt find: “There is nothing thou wouldst not.” In Paradise there is no night; no seasons of winter and summer; but one perpetual day of unvaried serenity, and one perpetual spring of unvaried delight. No more persecutions or jealousies are there; for there all sincerely love one another, and each rejoices in each other’s good as if it were his own. No more bodily infirmities or pains are there, for the body is no longer subject to suffering; no poverty is there, for every one is rich to the full, not having anything more to desire; no more fears are there, for the soul being confirmed in grace can sin no more, nor lose that supreme good which it possesses.

II.

“There is everything thou wouldst.” In Paradise thou shalt have whatsoever thou desirest. There the sight is satisfied in beholding that city so beautiful, and its citizens all clothed in royal apparel, for they are all kings of that everlasting kingdom. There shall we see the beauty of Mary, whose appearance will be more beautiful than that of all the Angels and Saints together. We shall see the beauty of Jesus, which will immeasurably surpass the beauty of Mary. The smell will be satisfied with the perfumes of Paradise. The hearing will be satisfied with the harmonies of Heaven, and the canticles of the Blessed, who will all with ravishing sweetness sing the Divine praises for all eternity. Ah, my God, I deserve not Paradise, but hell; yet Thy death gives me a hope of obtaining it. I desire and ask Paradise of Thee, not so much in order to enjoy as in order to love Thee for ever, secure that it will never more be possible for me to lose Thee. O Mary, my Mother, O Star of the Sea, it is for thee, by thy prayers, to conduct me to Paradise.

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