Evening Meditations for Tuesday after Corpus Christi ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST

XXVI.-HE THAT LOVES JESUS CHRIST SEEKS TO DETACH HIMSELF FROM EVERY CREATURE

I.

St. Augustine informs us that Tiberius Caesar desired that the Roman Senate should enroll Jesus Christ among the rest or their gods; but the Senate refused to do so on the ground that He was too proud a God and would be worshipped alone without any companion. It is quite true; God will be alone the object of our adoration and love; not indeed from pride, but because it is His just due, and because too, of the love He bears us. For as He Himself loves us exceedingly, He desires in return all our love; and He is therefore jealous of anyone else sharing the affections of our hearts, of which He desires to be the sole possessor: “Jesus is a jealous lover,” says St. Jerome; and He is unwilling, therefore, that we should fix our affections on anything but Himself. And whenever He beholds any created object taking a share of our hearts, He looks on it, as it were with jealousy, as the Apostle St. James says, because He will not endure a rival, but will remain the sole object of all our love: Do you think that the Scripture saith in vain: To envy doth the Spirit covet which dwelleth in you -(James iv. 5). The Lord, in the sacred Canticles, praises His spouse, saying: My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed-(Cant . iv. 12). He calls her a garden enclosed because the soul which is His spouse keeps her heart shut against every earthly love, in order to preserve all for Jesus Christ alone. And does Jesus Christ, perchance, not deserve all our love? Ah, too much, too much has He deserved it, both for His own goodness and for His love towards us. The Saints knew this well, and for this reason St. Francis de Sales said: “Were I conscious of one fibre in my heart that did not belong to God, I would forthwith tear it out.”

II.

David longed to have wings free from all lime of worldly affections, in order to flyaway and repose in God: Who will give me wings like a dove, and I will fly and be at rest?-(Ps. liv. 7). Many souls would wish to see themselves released from every earthly trammel to fly to God, and would in reality make lofty flights in the way of sanctity, if they would but detach themselves from everything in this world; but whereas they retain some little inordinate affection, and will not use violence with themselves to get rid of it, they remain always languishing in their misery, without. ever so much as taking a single forward step. St. John of the Cross said: “The soul that remains with her affections attached to anything, however small, will, notwithstanding the many virtues she may possess, never arrive at Divine union; for it signifies little whether the bird be tied by a slight thread or a thick one; since, however slight it may be, provided she does not break it, she remains always bound, unable to fly. Oh, what a pitiful thing it is to see certain souls, rich in spiritual exercises, in virtues and Divine favours yet, because they are not bold enough to break off some trifling attachment, they cannot attain to Divine union. For this union there is needed only one strong and resolute flight to break effectually that fatal thread, for when once the soul is emptied of all affections to creatures, God cannot help communicating Himself wholly to her.”

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