Evening Meditations for the Fourth Wednesday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

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Evening Meditation




Jesus Christ said: Many will say to me: ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name?’ But the Lord will answer them: I never knew you! depart from me, you that work iniquity-(Matt. vii. 22, 28). Depart from Me; I never acknowledged you for My disciples, because you preferred to follow your own inclinations rather than My will. And this is especially applicable to those who labour much for the salvation or perfection of others, while they themselves continue to, live on in the mire of their imperfections. Perfection, consists: Firstly, in a true contempt of oneself. Secondly, in a thorough mortification of our own appetites. Thirdly, in a perfect conformity to the will of God; whosoever is wanting in one of these virtues is out: of the way of perfection. On this account a great servant of God said: It was better for us in our actions to have the will of God rather than His glory as their sole motive; for, in doing the will of God, we at the same time promote His glory; whereas in proposing to ourselves the glory of God, we frequently deceive ourselves; and follow our own will under pretext of glorifying God.  St. Francis of Sales said: “There are many who say to the Lord: I give myself wholly to Thee without reserve; but few indeed, in point of fact, practically embrace this abandonment, which consists in a certain indifference in accepting all kinds of events, just as they fall out according to the order of Divine Providence, afflictions as well as consolations, slights and injuries as well as honour and glory.”


It is therefore in suffering and in embracing with cheerfulness whatever cuts against the grain of our own inclinations, that we can discover who is a true lover of Jesus Christ. Thomas a Kempis says that “he is not deserving of the name of lover who is not ready to endure all things for his Beloved, and to follow in all things the will of his Beloved.” On the contrary, Father Balthazar Alvarez says that whoever quietly resigns himself to the Divine will in troubles “travels to God post-haste.” And the saintly Mother Teresa said: “What greater acquisition can we make, than to have some proof that we are pleasing God?” And to this I add that we cannot have a more certain proof of this than, by peacefully embracing the crosses which God send us. We please God by thanking Him for His benefits on earth; but, says Father John of Avila, one ‘Blessed be God!’ uttered in adversity is worth six thousand acts of thanksgiving in our prosperity.

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