Evening Meditations for the Seventeenth Friday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

CONFIDENCE IN JESUS CHRIST AND LOVE OF HIM

I.

Let us be persuaded we shall never attain to a great love for God, except through Jesus Christ, and unless we have a special devotion to His Passion, by which He procured Divine grace for us. The Apostle writes: Through him we have access …to the Father (Eph. ii. 18). The way to grace would be closed to us sinners were it not for Jesus Christ. He opens the gate to us; He introduces us to the Father, and by the merits of His Passion obtains for us from the Father pardon for our sins, and all the graces we receive from God. Miserable we should be if we did not possess Jesus Christ. And who can ever sufficiently praise and thank the love and goodness this merciful Redeemer has shown to us poor sinners, in being willing to die to deliver us from eternal death? Scarcely, says the Apostle, will any die for a just man, but for a good man perhaps some would dare to die; but when we were sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. v. 7-10).

Wherefore the Apostle teaches us that if we are resolved at all costs to seek the love of Jesus Christ we ought to expect from Him every help and favour; and he thus reasons: For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. He thus warns those who love Jesus Christ that they do injustice to the love which this our merciful Saviour bears us, if they fear He will deny them any of the graces necessary for salvation and sanctification. And that our sins may not cause us to fail in trusting Him, St. Paul goes on to say: For not as the offence so also the gift. For if by the offence of one many died; much more the grace of God and the gift, by the grace of one man Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many (Rom. v. 15). He here gives us to understand that the gift of grace obtained by the Redeemer through His Passion brings us blessings far greater than the loss we sustained by the sin of Adam; for the merits of Christ have a greater power to cause us to be loved by God than the sin of Adam had to make Him hate us. “We obtained,” says St. Leo, “greater things by the unspeakable grace of Christ than we lost by the malice of the devil.”

II.

Let us, then, conclude, O devout souls — let us love Jesus Christ! Let us love this Redeemer Who is so worthy of being loved, and has so loved us that it seems as if He could have done no more to gain our love. It is enough for us to know that, for love of us, He has been willing to die, consumed by grief upon a Cross; and, not satisfied with this, has left us Himself in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, where He gives us for food the very same Body He sacrificed for us, and gives us to drink the very same Blood He poured forth for us in His Passion. Most ungrateful shall we be to Him, then, not only if we offend Him, but if we love Him little, and do not consecrate to Him our entire love.

O my Jesus, may I be all consumed with love for Thee, as Thou wast all consumed for me! And since Thou hast so much loved me, and bound me to love Thee, help me now not to be ungrateful to Thee. Most ungrateful should I be if I loved anything apart from Thee. Thou hast loved me without reserve; without reserve I also wish to love Thee. I leave all, I renounce all, to give myself wholly to Thee, and to have in my heart no love but Thine. In pity, accept my love, without taking account of the offences that I have committed against Thee in the past. Behold, I am one of those sheep for whom Thou hast shed Thy Blood; we therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious Blood. Forget, O my dear Saviour, the many offences I have committed against Thee. Chastise me as Thou wilt; deliver me only from the punishment of not being able to love Thee, and then do with me whatever Thou wilt. Deprive me of everything, O my Jesus, but deprive me not of Thyself, my only Good. Teach me to know what Thou wilt have from me, that, by Thy grace, I may fulfil all Thy will. Make me forget everything that I may remember Thee alone, and all the pains Thou hast suffered for me. Grant that I may think of nothing but of pleasing Thee, and loving Thee. Look upon me with that love with which Thou didst look upon me on Calvary, when dying for me upon the Cross, and hear me. In Thee I place all my hopes, O my Jesus, my God, and my all.

O holy Virgin Mary, my Mother and my Hope, recommend me to thy Son, and obtain that I may be faithful to His love till the hour of my death. Amen.

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