Evening Meditations for Thursday after Corpus Christi ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Mediation

THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST

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

I.

When the heart is detached from creatures, Divine love immediately enters and fills it. Moreover, St. Teresa said: “As soon as the evil occasions are removed, the heart forthwith turns herself to love God.” Yes, for the human heart cannot exist without loving; it must either love the Creator or creatures: if it does not love creatures, then assuredly it will love God. In short, we must leave all in order to gain all. “All for all,” says Thomas a Kempis. As long as St. Teresa cherished a certain affection, though pure, towards one of her relations, she did not wholly belong to God; but when afterwards she summoned courage, and resolutely cut off the attachment, then she deserved to hear these words from Jesus: “Now, Teresa, thou art all Mine, and I am all thine.” One heart is quite too small to love this God, so loving and so lovely, and Who merits an infinite love; and shall we then think of dividing this one little heart of ours between creatures and God? The Venerable Lewis da Ponte felt ashamed to speak thus to God: “O Lord, I love Thee above all things, above riches, above honours, friends, relations!” for it seemed to him as much as to say: “O Lord, I love Thee more than dust and smoke and the worms of the earth!”

II.

The Prophet Jeremias says that the Lord is all goodness towards him who seeks Him: The Lord is good to the soul that seeketh him–(Lam. iii. 25). But he understands it of a soul that seeks God alone! O blessed loss! O blessed gain! To lose worldly goods, which cannot satisfy the heart and are soon gone, in order to gain the sovereign and eternal Good, which is God! It is related that a pious hermit, one day while a king was hunting througli the woods, began to run to and fro as if in search of something. The king, observing him thus occupied, inquired of him who he was and what he was doing; the hermit replied: “And may I ask your majesty what you are engaged about in this desert?” The king made answer: “I am going in pursuit of game.” And the hermit replied: “I, too, am going in pursuit of God.” With these words he went his way. During the present life this must likewise be our only thought, our only purpose, to go in search of God in order to love Him, and in search of His will in order to fulfil it, ridding our heart of all love of creatures. And whenever some worldly good presents itself to our imaginations to solicit our affection, let us be ready with this answer: “I have despised the kingdom of this world, and all the charms of this life for the sake of the love of my Lord Jesus Christ.” And what else are all the dignities and grandeurs of this world but smoke, filth, and vanity, which all disappear at death? Blessed he who can say: “My Jesus, I have left all for Thy love; Thou art my only Love; Thou alone art sufficient for me.”

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