THE CONTEMPT WITH WHICH THE SINNER TREATS GOD
God Himself declares that the sinner treats Him with contempt and complains of it in these words: I have brought up children, and exalted them; but they have despised me (Is. i. 2). I have brought up My children, I have preserved and nourished them, but with base ingratitude they have despised Me. But who is God Who is thus despised by men? He is the Creator of Heaven and earth; He is the sovereign, infinite Good, in Whose sight men and Angels are as a drop of water, or a grain of sand: as a drop of a bucket … as a little dust (Is. xl. 15). In a word, all things created, in the presence of His infinite greatness, are as though they were not: All nations are before him as if they had no being at all, and are counted to him nothing and vanity (Is. xl. 17).
Behold me, O God, a daring sinner who has presumed to despise Thy infinite majesty. But whilst Thou art infinite majesty, Thou art also infinite mercy. I love Thee, O Lord, and because I love Thee I am sorry for having offended Thee; do Thou have pity on me.
And, O God, who am I who have despised Thee? A poor helpless worm who have nothing but what Thou in Thy bounty hast bestowed upon me. Thou hast given me my soul, my body, the use of reason, and numberless other benefits in this world; and I have made no other use of them all but to offend Thee, my Benefactor. Nay, more; at the very time that Thou didst preserve my life, that I might not fall into hell as I deserved, I abused Thy goodness and forbearance. O my Saviour, how couldst Thou have had such patience with me? Wretch that I am, how many nights have I slept under Thy displeasure! But Thou wouldst not have me perish. I trust, O my Jesus, in Thy Blessed Passion that Thou wilt enable me to change my life. Let not that sacred Blood be lost, which with so much pain and sorrow Thou didst shed for my salvation.
Man is a miserable worm that can do nothing; he is so blind that he knows nothing; so poor and naked that he possesses nothing. And this miserable worm voluntarily insults God! Vile dust, says St. Bernard, dares to provoke such tremendous Majesty!
O God, what have I done? Thou, my Redeemer, hast shown such regard for my soul as to shed Thy Blood for its salvation, and I have been so wretched as to allow it to perish for a mere nothing, for a caprice, for a maddening passion, for a miserable gratification, in contempt of Thy grace and love. Ah! if Faith did not assure me that Thou didst promise to pardon those who repent, I should not now dare to implore Thy forgiveness. O my Saviour, I kiss Thy sacred Wounds, and for the love of these Wounds I beseech Thee to forget the injuries I have committed against Thee. Thou hast said that when the sinner repents, Thou wilt forget all his ingratitude. I am sorry above every evil for having despised Thee, my sovereign Good; make haste to pardon me, as Thou hast promised; let me be quickly reconciled to Thee. I love Thee now more than myself; may I never more incur Thy displeasure! O Mary, refuge of sinners, succour a poor sinner who invokes thy assistance.