Morning Meditation for the Fourth Friday in Advent ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation

JESUS WISHES TO BE LOVED.

A child is born to us and a son is given to us (Is. ix. 6).

Behold the end for which the Son of God willed to be born an Infant — to give Himself to us from His Childhood, and thus draw to Himself our love. Thus He wished to be born because He wished to be loved.

I.

God conferred so many blessings on men in order to draw them to love Him; but these ungrateful men not only did not love Him, but they would not even acknowledge Him as their Lord. Only in one corner of the earth, in Judea, was He recognized as God by His chosen people; and by them He was more feared than loved. He, however, Who wished to be more loved than feared by us, became Man like unto us, chose a poor, suffering obscure life, and a painful and ignominious death. And why? To draw our hearts to Himself. If Jesus Christ had not redeemed us, He would have been no less great or less happy; but He determined to procure our salvation at the cost of so many labours and sufferings, as if His happiness depended on ours. He might have redeemed us without suffering; but no — He willed to free us from eternal death by His own death; and though He was able to save us in a thousand ways, He chose the most humiliating and painful way of dying through pure suffering on the Cross, to purchase the love of us, ungrateful worms of the earth. And what, indeed, was the cause of His miserable Birth and His most sorrowful death, if not the love He had for us?

Ah, my Jesus, may Thy love for me destroy in me all earthly affections, and consume me in the fire which Thou didst come to kindle on the earth. I curse a thousand times those shameful passions which cost Thee so much pain. I repent, my dear Redeemer, with all my heart, of all the offences I have committed against Thee. For the future I will rather die than offend Thee; and I wish to do all that I can to please Thee. I love Thee, my only Good, my Love, my All.

II.

Drop down dew, O ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just (Is. xlv. 8). Send forth the Lamb, the Ruler of the earth (Is. xvi. 1).

Thus did the holy Prophets desire for so many years the coming of the Saviour. The same Prophet Isaias said: Oh, that thou wouldst rend the heavens, and wouldst come down: the mountains would melt away at thy presence … the waters would burn with fire (Is. lxiv. 1, 2). Lord, he said, when men shall see that Thou didst come on earth out of love for them, the mountains shall be made smooth, that is, men in serving Thee will conquer all the difficulties that at first appeared to them insuperable obstacles. The waters shall burn with fire, and the coldest hearts will feel themselves burning with Thy love, at the sight of Thee made Man; and how well has this been verified in many happy souls! — in St. Teresa, in St. Philip Neri, St. Francis Xavier, who even in this life were consumed by this holy fire. But how many such are there? Alas! but too few.

Ah, my Jesus, amongst these few I wish also to be. How many years ought I not already to be burning in hell, separated from Thee, hating and cursing Thee forever! But no, Thou hast borne with me with so much patience, that Thou mightest see me burn, not with that unhappy flame, but with the blessed fire of Thy love; for this end Thou hast given me so many illuminations, and hast so often wounded my heart while I was far from Thee; finally, Thou hast done so much that Thou hast forced me to love Thee by Thy sweet attractions. Behold, I am now Thine. I will be Thine always and altogether. It remains for Thee to make me faithful, and this I confidently hope from Thy goodness. O my God! who could ever have the heart to leave Thee again and to live even a moment without Thy love? I love Thee with all my heart, but this is too little. My Jesus, hear me, give me more love, more love, more love. O Mary, pray to God for me.

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