Evening Meditations for Whit Saturday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST

XVI.-THE MEANS OF AVOIDING LUKEWARMNESS AND ATTAINING PERFECTION

I.

And let us have great faith in prayer. God has promised to hear him that prays: Ask, and you shall receive. How can we doubt, says St. Augustine, since God has bound Himself by express promise, and cannot fail to grant us the favours we ask of Him? “By promising He has made Himself our debtor.” … In recommending ourselves to God, we must have a sure confidence that God hears us, and then we shall obtain whatever we want. Behold what Jesus Christ says: All things, whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come unto you –(Mark xi. 24).

“But,” some one may say, “I am a sinner, and do not deserve to be heard.” But Jesus Christ says: Everyone that asketh, receiveth-(Luke xi. 10). Every one, be he just or be he a sinner. St. Thomas teaches us that the efficacy of prayer to obtain grace does not depend on our merits, but on the mercy of God, Who has promised to hear everyone who prays to Him.

II.

And our Redeemer, in order to remove from us all fear when we pray, said: Amen, amen, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father anything in my name he win give it you-(Jo. xvi. 23). As though He would say: Sinners, you have no merits of your own to obtain graces, wherefore act in this manner; when you would obtain graces, ask them of My Father in My Name; that is, through My merits and through My love; and then ask as many as you choose, and they shall be granted to you. But let us mark well these words, “In my Name,” which signify (as St. Thomas explains it), “in the Name of the Saviour”; or, in other words, thai the graces which we ask must be graces which regard our eternal salvation; and consequently we must remark that the promise does not regard temporal favours; these our Lord grants when they are profitable for our eternal welfare; if they would prove otherwise, He refuses them. So that we should always ask for temporal favours on condition that they win benefit our soul. But should they be spiritual graces, then they require no condition; but with confidence, and a sure confidimce, we should say: “Eternal Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ, deliver me from this temptation: grant me perseverance, grant me Thy love, grant me Heaven.” We can likewise ask these graces of Jesus Christ in His own Name; that is, by His merits, since we have His promise also to this effect: If you shall ask me anything in my name, that I will do–(Jo. xiv. 14). And whilst we pray to God, let us not forget to recommend ourselves at the same time to Mary, the dispenser of graces. St. Bernard says that it is Almighty God Who bestows the graces; but He bestows them through the hands of Mary: “Let us seek grace, and let us seek it through Mary; because what she seeks she finds, and cannot be refused.” If Mary prays for us, we are safe; for every petition of Mary is heard, and she can never meet with a repulse.

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