Evening Meditations for the Fifteenth Tuesday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST

I.

Neither is there salvation in any other (Acts iv. 12) St. Peter says that our whole salvation is in Jesus Christ, Who, by means of the Cross, where He sacrificed His life for us, opened to us a way for hoping for every blessing from God, if we would be faithful to His commands.

Let us hear what St. John Chrysostom says of the Cross. He says: “The Cross is the hope of Christians, the staff of the lame, the comfort of the poor, the destruction of all pride, the victory over devils, the guide of youth, the pilot of mariners, the refuge of those who are in danger, the counsellor of the just, the rest of the afflicted, the physician of the sick, the glory of Martyrs.” The Cross, that is, Jesus crucified, is —

The hope of the faithful, because if we had not Jesus Christ we should have no hope of salvation.

It is the staff of the lame, because we are all lame in our present state of corruption and weakness. We have in truth no strength to walk in the way of salvation except that which is communicated to us by the grace of Jesus Christ.

It is the comfort of the poor, and we all are poor, for all we have we have received from Jesus Christ.

It is the destruction of all pride, for the followers of the Crucified cannot be proud, seeing Him dead as a malefactor upon the Cross.

It is victory over the devils, for the very Sign of the Cross is sufficient to put them to flight.

It is the instructor of the young, for admirable is the teaching which they who are beginning to walk in the ways of God learn from the Cross.

It is the pilot of mariners, and guides us through the storms of this present life.

It is the haven in peril, for they who are in peril of perishing, through temptations of strong passions, find a secure harbour by flying to the Cross.

It is the counsellor of the just, for how many Saints learn wisdom from the Cross, that is, from the troubles of this life.

It is the rest of the afflicted, for where can they find greater relief than in contemplating the Cross, on which a God suffers for love of them?

It is the physician of the sick, for when they embrace it, they are healed of the wounds of the soul.

It is the glory of Martyrs, for to be made like Jesus Christ, the King of Martyrs, is the greatest glory they could possess.

II.

In a word, all our hope is placed in the merits of Jesus Christ. The Apostle says: I know both how to be brought low and I know how to abound … both to be full and to be hungry; both to abound and to suffer need (Philipp. iv. 12). Thus St. Paul, instructed by the Lord, says: I know how I ought to conduct myself; when God humbles me I resign myself to His will; when He exalts me, to Him I give all the honour; when He gives me abundance, I thank Him; when He makes me endure poverty, still I bless Him; and I do all this not by my own strength, but by the strength of the grace God gives me. For he that trusts in Jesus Christ is strengthened with invincible power.

The Lord, says St. Bernard, makes those who hope in Him all powerful. The Saint also adds that a soul which does not presume upon its own strength, but is strengthened by the Word, can govern itself so that no evil shall have power over it; and no force, no fraud, can cast it down.

The Apostle prayed thrice to God that the impure temptations which troubled him might be driven away, and he was answered: My grace is sufficient for thee, for power is made perfect in infirmity (2 Cor. xii. 9). How is this that the virtue of perfection consists in weakness? St. Thomas, with St. Chrysostom, explains it, that the greater our weakness and inclination to evil, the greater is the strength given us by God. Therefore St. Paul himself says: Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may dwell in me. For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ. For when I am weak then am I powerful (2 Cor. xii. 9-10).

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