Evening Meditations for the Twenty-second Tuesday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

INTERIOR TRIALS

I.

God is all goodness to those who seek Him. The Lord is good to the soul that seeketh him (Lam. iii. 25). No one has ever put his trust in God, and had to remain abandoned by Him: None had hoped in the Lord, and been confounded (Ecclus. ii. 11). God lets Himself be found even by those who seek Him not. I was found by them that did not seek me (Rom. x. 20). With how much greater ease will He not allow Himself to be found by one who does seek Him! Let no one say that God has abandoned him; the Lord abandons none but the very obstinate who desire to live in sin; neither does He altogether abandon even these, but is ever going after them up to the time of their death, giving them graces for their succour, that so He may not see them lost.

When a soul is desirous to love Him, God cannot but love it, as He has Himself declared: I love them that love me (Prov. viii. 17). And whenever He hides Himself from these loving souls, He does so for their advantage only, that He may see them yet more desirous of finding His grace, and more closely united with Himself. When St. Catharine of Genoa was suffering aridity to such a degree that it seemed to her as if God had abandoned her, and that nothing remained to her as a ground for hope, it was then that she would say: “How happy I am in this state, deplorable even though it be! May my heart be broken to pieces, provided that my Love be glorified! O my dearest Love, if from this unhappy state of mine is produced but a single atom of glory for Thee, I pray that Thou wouldst leave me thus for all eternity!” And saying this, she would burst into a flood of tears in the midst of her desolation.

II.

You should know that souls that love the Crucified enter, in time of desolation, into a closer union with God in the interior of their heart. Nothing occasions so diligent a search for God as does desolation; neither is there anything that attracts God to the heart so much as desolation, since the acts of conformity to the Divine will which are made in desolation are more pure and perfect than others; and hence, the greater the desolation, the greater is the humility, the purer the resignation, the grander the confidence, the more fervent the prayers, and consequently the more abundant are the Divine graces and assistance.

Above all else attend to the exercise of Divine love. When God makes our heart His abode, His love itself despoils it of every irregular affection; nevertheless, let it be your endeavour to make frequent repetitions of acts of Divine love, saying: My God, I love Thee, I love Thee, I love Thee; and I hope to die with these words on my lips: My God, I love Thee! The Saints tell us that souls ought to make acts of love as often as they breathe.

In time of prayer, make an unreserved offering of yourself to God many times over. Say to Him in all sincerity: My Jesus, I give myself to Thee without reserve. I wish to be all Thine own, all Thine own; and if I know not how to give myself as I ought, do Thou, my Jesus, take me, and make me all Thine own. St. Teresa made an entire offering of herself to God fifty times every day. This is a practice which even you can follow. Therefore, make a continual offering to Him of your will, in these words of St. Paul: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? (Acts ix. 6). This one act was enough to transform St. Paul from a persecutor of the Church into a vessel of election. For this purpose, too, pray to God frequently in the words of David: Teach me to do thy will (Ps. cxlii. 10). To this end should be directed all the prayers that you offer to God and to the Mother of God, to your Guardian Angel, and to all your Patron Saints, that they may obtain for you the grace perfectly to do the will of God; in short, let this one expression: Fiat voluntas Tua! serve you as a remedy for all your evils, and as a means of attaining all that is good.

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