Morning Meditation for Thursday – Fifth Week after Pentecost ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation

THE VANITY OF THE WORLD – THE GOODS OF THIS WORLD PASS QUICKLY

Ye great ones of the world who are tormented in the fires of hell, what remains to you now of your honours and your wealth? They answer, weeping: Nothing! Nothing! What advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us? All these things are passed away like a shadow!

I.

Ye great ones of the world who are tormented in the fires of hell, what remains to you now of your honours and your wealth? They answer, weeping: Nothing! Nothing! We have nothing but torments and despair! All is passed but our punishment, which will never end!

At death men will say: What hath pride profited us? or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us? All those things are passed away like a shadow (Wis. v. 8). Alas, the remembrance of the good things we have enjoyed in the world will not, at the hour of death, inspire us with confidence, but will fill us with terror and confusion.

Woe to me! How many years have I been in the world, and what have I hitherto done for God? O Lord, have pity on me, and cast me not away from thy face (Ps. l. 18).

The time of death is the time when all worldly things will appear as they really are – vanity, smoke, and dust!

O my God! How frequently have I exchanged Thee for a nothing! I should not dare to hope for pardon, were it not that Thou hast died in order to pardon me. Now will I love Thee above all things, and will esteem Thy grace more precious than all the kingdoms of the earth.

Death is compared by St. Paul to a thief (1 Thess. v. 4), because it robs us of all things – possessions, relations, beauty, dignity, and even of our own very flesh.

The day of death is also called the day of destruction (Deut. xxxii. 35). Then shall we love all that we have ever acquired, and all that we can hope for from this world. O my Jesus! I am not concerned about the loss of earthly goods, but only lest I should lose Thee, the Infinite Good.

We extol the Saints, who, for the love of Jesus Christ, despise the goods of this earth; and do we continue to be attached to such vanities at the imminent danger of our salvation?

We have a great esteem for the treasures of this life; and why do we make so little account of the treasures of eternity?

Enlighten me, O my God! Make me realize that all creatures are nothing, and that Thou art my All, the Infinite Good. Grant that I may leave all things to possess Thee alone. My God! My God! Thee only do I desire, and besides Thee, nothing in this world!

II.

St. Teresa says that our faults and our attachments to the goods of this earth, arise from a want of Faith. Let us then reanimate our Faith, and remember we shall one day have to leave all and go into eternity. And hence let us leave all now, while we can obtain merit by so doing. One day we shall have to leave them all. What are riches, honours, friends? God! God! Let us seek God alone, and God will be our All.

That eminent servant of God, Sister Margaret of St. Ann, daughter of the Emperor Rudolf II, and a discalced Religious used to say: “What will kingdoms avail at the hour of death?”

The death of the Empress Isabella induced St. Francis Borgia to renounce the world, and to give himself entirely to God. At the sight of her corpse he said to himself: It is thus, then, that the grandeurs and the crowns of this world terminate!

O my God, Thou hast always loved me! Grant that I may be wholly Thine before death overtakes me.

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