THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST.
XIV.-ON THE GREAT CONFIDENCE WE OUGHT TO HAVE IN THE LOVE JESUS CHRIST HAS SHOWN US AND IN ALL HE HAS DONE FOR US.
Now, if we fear, on account of our frailty to fall under the assaults of our enemies, against whom we must continually wage war, behold what we have to do, as the Apostle admonishes us : Let us run to the fight proposed unto us: looking on Jesus the author and finisher of faith, who having joy proposed unto him, underwent the cross, despising the shame-(Heb. xii. 1, 2). Let us go out to the battle with great courage, looking at Jesus crucified, Who from His Cross offers us His assistance, the victory, and crown. In past times we fell into sin because we did not consider the wounds and the pains endured by our Redeemer, and so we did not have recourse to Him for help. But if for the future we set before our eyes all He has suffered for love of us, and how He ever stands ready to assist us when we have recourse to Him, it is certain that we shan not be conquered by our enemies. St. Teresa said, with her wonted generosity: “I do not understand the fears of certain persons who say: The devil, the devil! so long as we can say: God, God! and make Satan tremble.” On the other hand, the Saint assures us that if we do not place all our confidence in God, all our own exertions will be of little or no avail. “All our exertions “-these are her own words-“are of little use if we do not give up entirely all trust in ourselves, and place it altogether in God.”
Oh, what two great Mysteries of hope and love for us are the Passion of Jesus Christ and the Sacrament of the Altar!-Mysteries which we could have never believed, had not Faith assured us of them. That God Almighty should deign to become Man, shed all His Blood, and die of sorrow upon a Cross and why? To pay for our sins and gain salvation for us rebellious worms! And then His own very Body, once sacrificed upon the Cross for us, this He vouchsafes to give us for our Food. in order to become wholly united with us! 0 God, how should not these two Mysteries consume with love the hearts of all men! And what sinner is there, be he ever so abandoned, who can despair of pardon, if he repent of the evil he has done, when he sees a God so full of love for men and so inclined to do them good? Hence St. Bonaventure, full of confidence, said: ” I will have great confidence, firmly hoping that He Who has done and suffered so much for my salvation will deny me nothing that I have need of.” How can He refuse to give me the graces necessary for my salvation, Who has done and suffered so much to save me?
Let us go therefore, the Apostle exhorts us, with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid-(Heb. iv. 16). The Cross is the throne of grace on which Jesus sits to dispense graces and mercy to all who come to Him. But we must have recourse to Him at once if we would find seasonable aid for our salvation: for there will come a time, perhaps; when we shall no longer be able to find it. Let us go quickly, then, and embrace the Cross of Jesus Christ, and let us go with great confidence. Let us not be frightened by the sight of our miseries; in Jesus crucified we shall find all riches, all grace: In all things you are made rich in him . . . so that nothing is wanting to you in any grace-(l Cor. i. 5, 7). The merits of Jesus Christ have enriched us with all the Divine treasures, and have made us capable of every grace we can desire.
St. Leo says that “Jesus has brought us by His death more good t.han the devil has done us harm by sin.” And by these words he explains what St. Paul said before him, that the gift of Redemption is greater than sin, and that grace has overcome the offence. Not as the otJence, so also is the gift: where sin abounded, grace hath abounded more-(Rom. v. 15, 20). From this the Saviour encourages us to hope for every favour and every grace through His merits. And see how He teaches us the way to obtain all we want from His Eternal Father: Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father any thing in my name, he will give it you -(John xvi. 23). Whatever you desire, He says, ask for it of the Father in My Name, and I promise that you shall be heard. And, indeed, what shall the Father be able to deny us when He has given us His only-begotten Son, whom He loves as Himself? He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things?-(Rom. viii. 32). The Apostle says, all things; so that no grace is excepted, neither pardon, nor perseverance, nor holy love, nor perfection, nor Paradise-” all, all, He has given us.” But we must pray to Him. God is all liberality to those who call upon Him: Rich unto all that call upon him-(Rom. x. 12).