Morning Meditation for Monday – Nineteenth Week after Pentecost ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation

THE GIFT OF HOPE WITH WHICH ST. TERESA WAS ENDOWED

The mercies of the Lord are in proportion to the confidence a soul places in Him; so that when the Lord wishes to enrich a soul with graces, He first enriches it with confidence. So great was Teresa’s confidence in God that she accomplished all she undertook for the glory of her Spouse, and was commonly styled the Omnipotent Teresa.

I.

The mercies of the Lord are in proportion to the confidence a soul places in Him: so that when the Lord wishes to enrich a soul with graces, He first enriches it with confidence.

So great was the confidence with which the holy mother Teresa was gifted by God, that by it she gained the accomplishment of all that she undertook for the glory of her Spouse, so that she was commonly styled the Omnipotent Teresa.

Ever bearing in mind that God is faithful, as the Apostle says, and that He cannot fall short of His word, she drew from this reflection the great courage that fortified her in every storm. “Oh, my Lord,” she used to exclaim, “who shall sufficiently declare how faithful Thou are to Thy friends? May everything fail me provided Thou dost not abandon me; me, who have found by experience how great is the gain of those who trust only in Thee.”

With this strong anchor to support her she undertook the great work of reforming the Religious of both sexes in the Carmelite Order, and of founding a vast number of Religious houses, in spite of innumerable obstacles raised by men and devils, without aid, without money, having nothing to support her except her confidence in God. She was accustomed to say, that in order to found a monastery, nothing more was requisite than to hire a house and set up a bell.

Whenever the strength of the opposition increased, her courage would increase also, and she would say that this was a sign that the seed sown would produce the more abundant fruit; and so all turned out successfully. She writes: “The true way of escaping a fall is to attach oneself to the Cross, and to confide in Him Who has been suspended thereon. I find Him alone a true friend; so overpowered am I with a sense of this, that it seems to me that, with the grace of God, I could withstand the whole universe contending against me.” Hence her great dislike in having to deal with persons who relied on human judgments and resources.

My holy advocate, Teresa, thou givest me to understand that thy Spouse has promised thee to grant everything thou askest of Him, and that a great number of souls have received help through thy prayers. Make me, too, one of the number. Recommend me to Jesus, and change me entirely as thou hast changed so many others through thy prayers.

II.

One day when Teresa was pleading for a special grace from God and feared His refusal on account of her unworthiness, Jesus appeared to her. Showing the Wound in His left hand, “He told me,” she says, “that I ought not to doubt that He Who had suffered so much for me would most willingly grant me all that I would ask of Him; that He had promised to grant me all I would ask of Him; that I ought to remember that even at the time when I served Him not, I had never asked Him for anything without receiving it, and more than I had known how to ask for, and that with much greater reason now when He knew my love for Him, would He hear me, and finally that I ought not to doubt His word.”

She then goes on to assure us that, by virtue of His promise, she had ever obtained from God more than she could have asked of Him in a lifetime. For the consolation of those devoted to her, she has left upon record the following words: “I should be wearisome to myself and to my readers if I were to recount all the graces God has conferred upon me; if I were to say how many souls have been extricated from sin by my prayers, and how many others have been advanced to higher degrees of perfection.” One night, while the saint was returning thanks to God for a grace she had received, He lovingly made her this answer: “And what can you ask of me, my daughter, that I would not grant you?” Another day he said to her: “You are aware of the espousals contracted between you and Me: it is for this reason that I make over to you all the sufferings I have undergone. You can offer these sufferings to My Father as your own, and ask in exchange all that you desire.”

The Saint has written for our instruction: “Oh! how small is the confidence that we repose in Thee, O Lord God! And yet what greater riches, what more beautiful treasures couldst Thou have handed over to us? Thou hast given us three-and-thirty years of Thy Son’s hard toil, and then His most painful death. Knowing beforehand how ungrateful we would be, Thou hast even confided to us the priceless treasure of that same Son in the Most Holy Sacrament, that there might be nothing in Thee of which we might not, through Him, gain possession, O merciful Father! O ye souls of the Blessed, who have so well known how, at this price, to purchase to yourselves so precious and so permanent an inheritance, declare to us how it was that you made use of so infinite a good? Succour us now that you are standing so near its source, and draw water thence for us who are here dying of thirst.”

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