Evening Meditations for Monday after Corpus Christi ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Mediation

THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST

“Charity seeketh not her own.”

XXV.-HE THAT LOVETH JESUS CHRIST SEEKS TO DETACH HIMSELF FROM EVERY CREATURE

I.

Whoever desires to love Jesus Christ with his whole heart must banish from his heart all that is not God, but is merely self-love. This is the meaning of those words, seeketh not her own; not to seek ourselves, but only what pleaseth God. And this IS what God requires of us all when He says: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart-(Matt. xxii. 37). Two things are needful to love God with our whole heart: (1) To clear it of earth; (2) To fill it with holy love. It follows that a heart in which any earthly affections linger can never belong wholly to God. St. Philip Neri said, “that as much love as we bestow on the creature, is so much taken from the Creator.” In the next place, how must the earth be purged away from the heart? Truly by mortification and detachment from creatures. Some souls complain that they seek God and do not find Him; let them listen to what St. Teresa says: “Wean your heart from creatures, and then seek God, and you will find Him.”

II.

The mistake is, that some indeed wish to become Saints, but after their own fashion; they would love Jesus Christ, but in their own way, without forsaking those diversions, that vanity of dress, those delicacies in food: they love God, but if they do· not succeed in obtaining such or such an office, they live discontented; if, too, they happen to be touched in point of esteem, they are all on fire; if they do not recover from an illness, they lose all patience. They love God; but they refuse to let go that attachment for the riches, the honours of the world, for the vainglory of being reckoned of good family, of great learning, and better than others. Such as these practise prayer and frequent Communion; but inasmuch as they take with them hearts full of earth, they derive little profit. Our Lord does not even speak to them, for He knows that it is but a waste of words. In fact, He said as much to St. Teresa on a certain occasion: “I would speak to many souls, but the world keeps up such a noise about their ears that My voice would never be heard by them. Oh, that they would retire a little from the world!” Whosoever, then, is full of earthly affections cannot even so much as hear the voice of God that speaks to him. But unhappy the man that continues attached to the sensible goods of this earth; he may easily become so blinded by them as one day to forsake the love of Jesus Christ; and because of his attachment to these transitory goods, he may lose God, the Infinite Good, for ever. St. Teresa said: “It is a reasonable consequence, that he who runs after perishable goods should himself perish.”

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