Evening Meditations for the Second Friday after Epiphany ~ Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

HE HATH LOVED US AND WASHED US FROM OUR SINS IN HIS OWN BLOOD.

I.

So, then, my Jesus, in order to save my soul, Thou hast prepared a bath of thine own Blood wherein to cleanse it from the filth of its sins. If, therefore, our souls have been bought by Thy Blood, for you are bought with a great price (1 Cor. vi. 20), it is a sign that Thou lovest them much; and as Thou dost love them, let us pray thus to Thee: We therefore pray thee to help thy servants, whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood. (Te Deum). It is true that by my sins I have separated myself from Thee and have knowingly lost Thee. But remember, my Jesus, that Thou hast purchased me with Thy Blood. Ah, may this Blood not have been given in vain for me, which was shed with so much grief and so much love!

By my sins I have driven Thee, my God, from my soul, and have merited Thy hatred; but Thou hast said that Thou wouldst forget the crimes of a repentant sinner. But if he do penance … I will not remember all his iniquities (Ezech. xviii. 21). Thou hast also said, I love them that love Me (Prov. viii. 17). I pray Thee, therefore, my Jesus, to forget all the injuries that I have offered Thee, and love me; whilst I also will now love Thee more than myself, and repent above all things for having offended Thee. Ah, my beloved Lord, for the sake of that Blood Thou hast shed for the love of me, hate me no longer, but love me. It is not enough for me that Thou shouldst only forgive me the chastisement I deserve, I desire to love Thee and to be loved by Thee. O God, Who art all love, all goodness, unite me and bind me to Thyself, and permit not that I should ever again be separated from Thee and deserve Thy hatred. No, my Jesus, my Love, let it not be, I will be all Thine, and I desire that Thou shouldst be all mine.

II.

He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death; even the death of the cross (Phil. ii. 8).

What great thing is it that the Martyrs did in giving their lives for God, while this God humbled himself to the death of the Cross for their love! To render a just return for the death of a God, it would not be sufficient to sacrifice the lives of all men; the death of another God for His love would alone compensate for it. O my Jesus, allow me, a poor sinner, to say to Thee with Thy true lover, St. Francis of Assisi: “May I die, Lord, for the love of Thy love, Who, for the love of my love didst deign to die.”

Is it true, my Redeemer, that hitherto, for the love of my own pleasures, I, unhappy that I am, renounced Thy love? Would that I had died before I had ever offended Thee! I thank Thee that Thou givest me time to love Thee in this life that I may afterwards love Thee throughout all eternity. Ah, remind me continually, my Jesus, of the ignominious death Thou hast suffered for me, that I may never forget to love Thee in consideration of the love Thou hast borne me. I love Thee, infinite Goodness; I love Thee, my supreme Good. To Thee I give myself entirely, and by that love which caused Thee to die for me, do Thou accept my love; and let me die, destroy me, rather than ever permit me to leave off loving Thee. I will say to Thee, with St. Francis de Sales: “O Eternal Love, my soul seeks Thee and chooses Thee for all eternity! Come, O Holy Spirit and inflame our hearts with Thy love. Either to love or to die! To die to all other affections, to live only to the love of Jesus!”

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