Evening Meditations for Wednesday after Corpus Christi ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST

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

I.

He who would possess God entirely must give himself up entirely to God: My beloved to me, and I to him -(Cant. ii. 16), says the Sacred Spouse. My beloved has given Himself entirely to me, and I give myself entirely to Him. The love which Jesus Christ bears us causes Him to desire all our love; and without all He is not satisfied. On this account we find St. Teresa thus writing to the prioress of one of her convents: “Endeavour to train souls to total detachment from everything created, because they are to be trained for the spouses of a King so jealous that He would have them even forget themselves.” St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi took a little book of devotion from one of her novices, merely because she observed that she was too much attached to it. Many souls acquit themselves of the duty of prayer, of visiting the Blessed Sacrament, of frequenting Holy Communion; but nevertheless they make little or no progress in perfection, and all because they keep some fondness for something in their heart; and if they persist in living thus, they will not only be always miserable, but run the risk of losing all.

II.

We must, therefore, beseech Almighty God, with David, to rid our heart of all earthly attachments: Create a clean heart in me, O God-(Ps. 1. 12). Otherwise we can never be wholly His. He has given us to understand very plainly that whoever will not renounce everything in this world cannot be His disciple: Every one of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be my disciple-(Luke xiv. 33). For this reason the ancient Fathers of the Desert were accustomed first to put this question to any youth who desired to associate himself with them: “Dost thou bring an empty heart that the Holy Spirit may fill it?” Our Lord said the same thing to St. Gertrude when she besought Him to signify what He wished of her: “I wish nothing else He said, but to find a heart devoid of creatures.” We must therefore say to God with great resolution and courage: O Lord, I prefer Thee to all; to health, to riches, to honours and dignities, to applause, to learning, to consolations, to high hopes, to desires, and even to the very graces and gifts which I may receive of Thee! In short, I prefer Thee to every good which is not Thee, O my God! Whatever benefit Thou grantest me, O my God, nothing besides Thyself will satisfy me. I desire Thee alone, and nothing else.

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