Evening Meditations for Day IIII Christmas Octave ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

JESUS TAKING MILK

I.

As soon as Jesus was swathed, He looked for and took milk from the breast of Mary. The Spouse in the Canticles desired to see her little brother taking milk from his mother: Who shall give thee to me for my brother, sucking the breasts of my mother (Cant. vii. 1). This Spouse desired, but did not see Him; but we are they who have had the happiness of seeing the Son of God made Man, and become our Brother, taking milk at the breast of Mary. Oh, what a spectacle must it not have been to Paradise to see the Divine Word become an Infant, sucking milk from a Virgin who was His own creature! He, then, Who feeds all men and all animals upon the earth, is become so weak and so poor, that He requires a little milk to sustain His life! Sister Paula, the Camaldolese, in contemplating a little image of Jesus taking milk, felt herself at once inflamed with a tender love for God. Jesus took but little of this milk, and took it but seldom in the day. It was revealed to Sister Mary Anne, a Franciscan, that Mary only gave Him milk three times in the day. O milk most precious to us, to be changed into blood in the veins of Jesus Christ, and afterwards to be made by Him a bath of salvation in which to cleanse our souls!

O my sweet and most amiable Infant, Thou art the Bread of Heaven which sustains the Angels; Thou dost provide all creatures with food; and yet how art Thou reduced to the necessity of begging a little milk to preserve Thy life! O Divine Love, how hast Thou been able to make a God so poor as to be in want of a little food? But I now understand Thee, O my Jesus; Thou didst take milk from Mary in this Cave, to offer it afterwards to God changed into blood, as a sacrifice on the Cross, and in satisfaction for our sins. Give, O Mary, give all the milk thou canst to this Son, because every drop has to serve to wash away the sins from my soul, and to nourish it afterwards in Holy Communion.

II.

Let us consider also that Jesus took milk in order to nourish the Body which He wished to leave us as food in the Holy Communion. Therefore, my little Redeemer, whilst Thou dost take milk, Thou art thinking of me; Thou art thinking of changing this milk into blood, to be shed afterwards at Thy death, and with that price ransom my soul, and feed it in the Most Holy Sacrament which is the saving milk with which Thou preservest our souls in the life of grace: “Christ is your milk,” says St. Augustine. O beloved Infant, O my Jesus, let me also exclaim with the woman in the Gospel: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck (Luke xi. 27). Blessed art thou, O Mother of God, who hadst the happiness to give milk to the Incarnate Word! Oh, permit me, in company with thy divine Son, to take from thee the milk of a tender and loving devotion to the infancy of Jesus and to thyself, my dearest Mother. And I thank Thee, O Divine Infant, Who didst allow Thyself to be in need of milk, in order to prove to me the great love Thou bearest me. It is precisely this that our Lord gave St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi to understand-that He had reduced Himself to the necessity of taking milk, in order to make us comprehend the love that He has for redeemed souls.

O my Redeemer, how can anyone who believes what Thou hast done and suffered to save us, refuse to love Thee? And I, how could I know this, and yet be so ungrateful to Thee? But Thy goodness is my hope; and this makes me know that if I wish for Thy grace, it is mine. I repent, O sovereign Good, of having offended Thee, and I love Thee above everything. Or rather, I love nothing; I love and will love Thee alone; Thou art, and shalt always be, my only Good, my only Love. My dear Redeemer, give me, I pray Thee, a tender devotion to Thy holy Infancy, such as Thou hast given to so many souls, who, meditating on Thee as an Infant, and forgetting all else, seem unable to think of anything but of loving Thee. It is true that they are innocent, and I am a sinner; but Thou didst become a Child to make Thyself loved even by sinners. I have been such; but now I love Thee with my whole heart, and I desire nothing but Thy love. O Mary, give me a little of that tender love with which thou didst give milk to the Infant Jesus.

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