Evening Meditations for Monday – Fifth Week After Pentecost ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

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Evening Meditation


“Charity beareth all things”



You say you are unable to pray, because your head is so weak. Be it so: you cannot meditate; but why cannot you make acts of resignation to the will of God? If you would only make these acts, you could not make a better prayer, welcoming with love all the torments that assail you. Thus did St. Vincent de Paul act. When attacked by a serious illness, he was wont to keep himself tranquilly in the presence of God, without forcing his mind to dwell on any particular subject; his sole exercise was to elicit some short acts from time to time, as of love, of confidence, of thanksgiving, and more frequently of resignation, especially in the crisis of his sufferings. St. Francis de Sales made this remark: “Considered in themselves tribulations are terrifying; but considered in the will of God, they are lovely and delightful.” You cannot make meditation, you say, and what more exquisite prayer than to cast a look from time to time on your crucified Lord, and to offer Him your pains, uniting the little that you endure with the overwhelming torments that afflicted Jesus on the Cross!


There was a certain pious lady lying bed-ridden with many ailments, and on the servant putting the Crucifix into her hands and telling her to pray to God to deliver her from her miseries, she made answer: “But how can you desire me to seek to descend from the Cross, whilst I hold in my hands a God crucified? God forbid that I should do so! I will suffer for Him Who chose to suffer torments for me incomparably greater than mine.” This was, indeed, precisely what Jesus Christ said to St. Teresa when she was labouring under serious illness: He appeared to her all covered with Wounds, and then said to her: “Behold, My daughter, the bitterness of My sufferings, and consider if yours equal Mine.” Hence the Saint was accustomed to say in the midst of all her infirmities: “When I remember in how many ways my Saviour suffered, though He was innocence itself, I know not how it could enter my head to complain of my sufferings.” During a period of thirty-eight years St. Lidwina was afflicted with numberless diseases – fevers, gout in the feet and hands, and sores, all her life-time; nevertheless, from never losing sight of the sufferings of Jesus Christ, she maintained an unbroken cheerfulness and joy. In like manner, St. Joseph of Leonessa, a Capuchin, when the surgeon was about to amputate his arm, and his brethren would have bound him to prevent his stirring from vehemence of pain, seized hold of the Crucifix and exclaimed: “Wherefore bind me? Wherefore bind me? Behold Who it is that binds me to support every suffering patiently for love of Him!” And so he bore the operation without a murmur. St. Jonas the Martyr, after passing the entire night immersed in ice water by order of the tyrant, declared next morning that he had never spent a happier night, because he had pictured to himself Jesus hanging on the Cross; and thus, compared with the torments of Jesus, his own had seemed rather caresses than sufferings.

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