CONSIDERATIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST
When the devil attempts to frighten us during life or at death by representing to us the sins of our youth, let us answer him with St. Bernard: “What is wanting to me of myself, I take to myself from the bowels of my Lord.” St. Paul writes: Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea, that is risen also again, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us (Rom. viii. 34). These words of the Apostle are of great comfort to us sinners; it is God who justifies us sinners, and pardons us with His grace; and if God renders us guiltless, who can condemn us as guilty? Will Jesus Christ, Who died for us, and gave Himself for our sins, that He might redeem us from the present evil world?
He burdened Himself with our sins and gave Himself up to death to deliver us from this wicked world, and to bring us with Himself to His Kingdom, where as St. Paul goes on to say, He performs the office of our Advocate, and intercedes for us with the Father. St. Thomas explains this, saying that Jesus Christ intercedes for us in Heaven by presenting to His Father His Wounds which He endured for love of us.
St. Gregory does not hesitate to assert (in opposition to what some say) that the Redeemer, as man, ever since His death, prays for the Church militant, that we may be faithful to Him: “Christ daily prays for His Church.” And St. Gregory Nazianzen before has said: “He intercedes, that is, He prays for us by way of mediation.” And St. Augustine, on the thirty-ninth Psalm, says that Jesus prays for us in Heaven, not that He may now obtain for us any fresh grace, for during His life He obtained all He could obtain; but He prays, inasmuch as He begs of the Father, through His merits, the salvation already obtained and promised to us. And though to Christ all power is committed by the Father, yet, as Man, He only possesses this power as depending upon God. The Church, however, is not accustomed to ask Him to intercede for us, because she regards that which is most exalted in Him, that is, His Divinity; and therefore she prays to Him as God to grant what she asks.