Evening Meditations for Feast of the Sacred Heart ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

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Evening Meditation




When once the love of God takes full possession of a soul, she of her own accord (supposing always, of course, the assistance of Divine grace) strives to divest herself of everything that could prove a hindrance to her belonging wholly to God. St Francis de Sales remarks that when a house catches fire all the furniture is thrown out of the window; meaning thereby, that when a person gives himself entirely to God, he needs no persuasion of preachers or confessors, but of his own accord seeks to get rid of every earthly affection. Father Segneri the Younger called Divine love a robber, which happily despoils us of all, that we may come into the possession of God alone. A certain man, of respectable position in life, having renounced everything in order to become poor for the love of Jesus Christ was questioned by a friend how he fell into such a state of poverty; he took from his pocket a small volume of the Gospels, and said: “Behold, this is what has stripped me of all.” The Holy Spirit says: If a man shall give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing -(Cant. viii. 7). And when a soul fixes her whole love in God, she despises all, wealth, pleasures, dignities, territories, kingdoms, and all her longing is after God alone; she says again and again: “My God. I wish for Thee only, and nothing more.” St. Francis de Sales writes: “The pure love of God consumes everything which is not God, to convert all into itself; for whatever we do for the love of God is love.”


The Sacred Spouse said: He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me-(Cant. ii. 4). This cellar of wine, writes St. Teresa, is Divine love, which, on taking possession of a soul, so perfectly inebriates it, as to make it forgetful of everything created. A person intoxicated is as it were dead in his senses; he neither sees, nor hears, nor speaks: and so it happens to the soul inebriated with Divine love. She has no longer any sense of the things of the world; she wishes to think only of God, to speak only of God; she recognises no other mative in all her actions but to love and to please God. In the Sacred Canticles the Lord forbids them to awake His beloved, who sleeps: Stir not up, nor make the beloved to awake, till she please (Cant. ii. 7). This blessed sleep, enjoyed by souls espoused to Jesus Christ, says St. Basil, is nothing else than “the utter oblivion of all things,” a virtuous and voluntary forgetfulness of every created thing, in order to be occupied solely with God, and to able to exclaim with St. Francis: “Deus meus et omnia-My God and my All!” My God, what are riches, and dignities, and the goods of this world, compared with Thee! Thou art my All, and my every Good. “My God and my All!” Thomas a Kempis writes: “Oh, sweet. word! It speaks enough for him who understands it; and to him who loves, it is most delicious to repeat again and again: My God and my All! My God and my All!”

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