“HE WAS OFFERED BECAUSE IT WAS HIS OWN WILL.” (Is. liii. 7)
The Incarnate Word, at the moment of His conception, saw before Him all the souls He was to redeem. Then thou also, my soul, wast presented with the guilt of all thy sins upon thee, and for thee did Jesus Christ accept all the pains that He suffered in life and death; and in doing so He obtained for thee thy pardon and all the graces thou hast received from God — the lights, the calls of His love, the helps to overcome temptations, the spiritual consolations, the tears, the compassionate feelings thou hast experienced when thinking of the love He had for thee, and the sentiments of sorrow in remembering how thou hast offended Him.
Thou didst, then, my Jesus, from the very beginning of Thy life, take upon Thee all my sins, and didst offer Thyself to satisfy for them by Thy sufferings. By Thy death Thou didst deliver me from eternal death: But thou hast delivered my soul, that it should not perish; thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back (Is. xxxviii. 17). Thou, my Love, instead of punishing me for the insults which I have added to those that Thou hadst already received, hast gone on adding to Thy favours and mercies towards me, in order to win my heart one day to Thyself. My Jesus, this day has come; I now love Thee with all my soul. Who should love Thee if I do not? This is the first sin, my Jesus, that Thou hast to forgive me, that I have been so many years in the world without loving Thee. But for the future I will do all I can to please Thee. By Thy grace I feel a great desire to live for Thee alone, and to detach myself from all created things. I have also a great sorrow for the displeasure I have caused Thee. This desire and this sorrow, O my Jesus, are all Thy gift. Continue, then, my Love, to keep me faithful in Thy love, for Thou knowest my weakness. Make me all Thine as Thou hast made Thyself all mine. I love Thee, my only Good; I love Thee, my only Love; I love Thee, my Treasure, my All; my Jesus, I love Thee, I love Thee, I love Thee. Help me, O Mother of God.
Behold, my Redeemer, to what Thy love for men has brought Thee — even to dying of sorrow on a Cross, drowned in a sea of grief and ignominy, as David had predicted of Thee. I am come into the depth of the sea, and a tempest hath overwhelmed me (Ps. lxviii. 3). St. Francis de Sales writes thus: “Let us contemplate this Divine Saviour stretched on the Cross as upon the Altar of His Glory, on which He is dying of love for us. Ah, why, then, do we not in spirit throw ourselves upon Him to die upon the Cross with Him Who has chosen to die there for the love of us? I will hold Him, we ought to say, — I will never let Him go. I will die with Him and will burn in the flames of His love. One and the same fire shall devour this Divine Creator and his miserable creature. My Jesus is all mine, and I am all His. I will live and die on His bosom. Neither life nor death shall ever separate me from my Jesus.”
Yes, my dear Redeemer, I hold fast to Thy Cross. Touched with compassion I kiss Thy pierced feet. I am confounded, O Lord Jesus, at seeing the affection with which Thou hast died for me. Ah, accept me, and bind me to Thy feet that I may no more depart from Thee, and may from this day forward converse with Thee alone, and to Thee confide all my thoughts. In a word, may I henceforth so direct all my affections as to seek nothing but to love Thee and please Thee, always longing to leave this valley of dangers to go love Thee face to face with all my strength in Thy kingdom which is a kingdom of eternal love. In the meantime let me always live in sorrow for the offences I have committed against Thee, and always burning with love for Thee Who for love of me hast given Thy life. I love Thee, my Jesus, Who hast died for me. I love Thee, O infinite Lover. I love Thee, O infinite Love. I love Thee, O infinite Goodness. O Mary, Mother of beautiful love, pray to my Jesus for me.