Morning Meditation for the Second Thursday after Epiphany ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation

(For Twenty-Fifth of January)

THE LIFE OF SORROW JESUS LED EVEN FROM HIS BIRTH

The Prophet Isaias calls Jesus Christ the man of sorrows, because His life was to be full of sorrow. His Passion did not begin at the time of His death. It commenced with His life — a life of internal and external sorrows from beginning to end.

I.

Jesus Christ could have saved man without suffering and without dying; but no, He chose a life full of tribulations in order to make us know how much He loved us. Therefore the Prophet Isaias called Him the Man of sorrows (Is. liii. 3), because the life of Jesus Christ was to be a life full of sorrows. His Passion did not begin at the time of His death, but from the commencement of His life.

Behold Him, as soon as He is born, laid in a stable where for Jesus everything is a torment. His sight is tormented by seeing nothing in the cave but black, rough walls. His sense of smell is tormented by the stench of the dung of beasts lying there. His sense of touch is tormented by the pricking of the straw that serves Him as a bed. Soon after His birth He is obliged to fly into Egypt where He passed several years of His childhood poor and despised. The life which He afterwards led in Nazareth was not less poor and lowly. Behold Him at length terminating His life in Jerusalem, dying on a Cross by dint of torments.

O my sweet Love, have I, then, by my sins kept Thee in a state of affliction all Thy life long? Oh, tell me, then, what I can do that Thou mayest forgive me, for I will leave nothing undone. I repent, O sovereign Good, of all the offences I have committed against Thee; I repent, and I love Thee more than myself. I feel a great desire to love Thee. It is Thou that givest me this desire; give me, therefore, strength to love Thee ardently.

II.

Thus, then, the life of Jesus was one of continual suffering, and, indeed, a double suffering; for He had constantly before His eyes all the sorrows that would afflict Him until the day of His death. Sister Mary Magdalen Orsini, complaining one day before the Crucifix, said to Him: “O Lord, Thou wert on the Cross only for three hours, but I have suffered this pain for several years.” Jesus answered her: “Oh, ignorant that thou art, what dost thou say? I suffered even from My Mother’s womb all the pains of My life and My death.” But all these sufferings did not so much afflict Jesus Christ — because He chose voluntarily to suffer them — as did the sight of our sins, and of our ingratitude for His great love. St. Margaret of Cortona was never satisfied with weeping over the offences she committed against God. Wherefore her confessor said to her one day: “Margaret, cease crying, because God has already forgiven thee.” But she replied: “Ah, Father, how can I cease weeping, when I know that my sins kept Jesus Christ in a state of affliction all His life?”

It is only just, O Jesus, that I, who have offended Thee so much, should also love Thee much. Oh, remind me constantly of the love Thou hast borne me, in order that my soul may always burn with the love of Thee; that it may think of Thee alone, desire Thee alone, and strive to please Thee alone. O God of love, I, who once was the slave of hell, now give myself entirely to Thee. Accept me in Thy mercy, O Jesus, and bind me with Thy love, from this day forth. I will love Thee in life, and loving Thee I will die. O Mary, my Mother and my hope, help me to love Thy dear Jesus and mine. This favour alone I desire and hope from thee.

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