Evening Meditations for the Septuagesima Sunday after Epiphany ~ Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation



The groans of death surrounded me and the sorrows of hell encompassed me, and in my affliction I called upon the Lord and he heard my voice… The Lord is my refuge and my deliverer (Introit of Mass. Ps. xvii).

In your desolation, and when creatures are unable to comfort you, have recourse to your Creator and say to Him: “Lord, men have only words for me.” My friends are full of words! Verbosi amici mei! (Job xvi. 21). They cannot comfort me; neither do I desire to be comforted by them: Thou art all my hope, all my love. Do Thou help me.” Your God loves you more than you can love yourself, what, then, should you fear? O thou of little faith why didst thou doubt? (Matt. xiv. 31).

God has declared that He shows favour towards those who put their confidence in Him. He is the protector of all that trust in him (Ps. xvii. 31). Whenever you doubt about our Lord hearing your prayer represent to yourself that He is chiding you as He did St. Peter, saying: O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt? (Matt. xiv. 31). Why dost thou doubt My hearing thee, knowing as thou dost the promise I have made to grant the requests of every one that prays to Me?

And because God is willing to grant our requests it is His will that we believe that He certainly will grant them whenever we ask Him for graces: All things whatsoever you ask, when ye pray, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come unto you (Mark xi. 24). Observe the words, believe that you shall receive; for they show that we must ask God for graces with a sure, unhesitating confidence that we shall receive them, as St. James also exhorts us: But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (James, i. 6). In dealing with our God Who is all goodness, have great confidence, and rid yourself of everything like sadness. He who serves God and is sad, instead of honouring Him, treats Him rather with dishonour. St. Bernard tells us that he wrongs God who represents Him to himself as harsh and severe; being, as He is, Goodness and Mercy Itself. “How can you entertain a doubt,” says the Saint, “of Jesus pardoning your sins, when He has affixed them to the Cross whereon He died for you, with the very nails by which His own hands were pierced?”

God declares that His delights are to be with us: My delights are to be with the children of men (Prov. viii. 31). If, then, it is God’s delight to treat with us, it is only just that all our delights should consist in treating with Him; and this thought should give us courage to treat with God with every confidence, endeavouring to spend all that remains of life to us with our God Who loves us so much, and in Whose company we hope to be in Heaven for all eternity.

O my crucified Jesus, have pity upon me! I deserve every kind of suffering for such great sins as mine have been. However disconsolate, however abandoned by Thee, I protest it is my will ever to love Thee and bless Thee. Provided Thou dost not deprive me of the grace to love Thee, deal with me as Thou pleasest. Lord, take not away Thyself from me, but take all else besides as may seem good in Thy sight. Help Thy servant whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.


Let us, then, treat Him with all confidence and love, as our most dear and affectionate Friend Who loves us more than any other. Alas! some souls treat God as if He were a tyrant, from whose subjects only reserve and fear are required; and consequently, they are apprehensive that, at every word inconsiderately spoken, at every thought which crosses their mind, God is angry with them, and disposed to cast them into hell. No; God does not take His grace away from us except when we knowingly and deliberately despise Him and turn our backs upon Him. And when, by some venial fault we slightly offend Him, He is certainly displeased by it, but does not therefore take from us the love which He bears towards us; whence by an act of contrition or of love, He is at once appeased. His infinite Majesty may justly claim all reverence and self-abasement from us; but He is better pleased that the souls that love Him should treat Him with loving confidence rather than with timid servility. So do not treat God as a tyrant. Recall to your mind the graces which He has bestowed upon you, even after the offences and acts of ingratitude which you have committed against Him; recollect the loving treatment which He has dealt out towards you, in order to extricate you from the disorders of your past life, and the extraordinary lights He has given you, by means of which He has so often called you to His holy love; and so treat Him from this day forth with great confidence and affection, as the dearest object of your love.

O my Jesus, I wish to be all Thine own, cost me what it may. I wish to love Thee with all my strength, but what can I myself do? Thy Blood is my hope. O Mary, Mother of God, my refuge, neglect not to pray for me in my tribulations. In the Blood of Jesus Christ, and then in thy prayers do I place my eternal salvation. In thee, O Lady have I hoped; I shall not be confounded for ever. Obtain for me the grace ever to love my God in life and in eternity. I ask for nothing more.

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