Evening Meditations for the Eleventh Saturday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

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Evening Meditation



And now behold this Lord, Who was fairest among men, appears on Calvary, His form so disfigured by torments, that it struck horror into all who saw it. Yet this deformity makes Him seem more beautiful in the eyes of souls that love Him, because these Wounds, these marks of the scourging, this lacerated flesh, are all tokens and proofs of the love He bears them; upon which the poet Petrucci beautifully sings, “O Lord, if Thou sufferest scourgings for us, to the souls who love Thee, the more deformed Thou art the more fair dost Thou appear.”

St. Augustine says: “He hung in deformity upon the Cross, but His deformity has made us beautiful.” And truly so, because this deformity of Jesus crucified was the cause of the beauty of our souls, which, when they were deformed, were washed with His Divine Blood, and became fair and lovely, according to what St. John wrote: Who are these that are clothed in white garments? These are they who have come out of great tribulation, and have washed their garments, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Apoc. vii. 13, 14). All the Saints, as being children of Adam, were (with the exception of the Blessed Virgin), at one time covered with a foul garment, and soiled with Adam’s sin and with their own; but being washed with the Blood of the Lamb, they became white and agreeable in the sight of God.


Well, didst Thou say, then, O my Jesus, that, when Thou shouldst be lifted up upon the Cross, Thou wouldst draw everything unto Thee (Jo. xii. 32); and this he said, signifying by what death he should die. Truly Thou hast left nothing undone to draw all hearts unto Thee. Many are the happy souls who, on seeing Thee crucified and dying for love of them, have abandoned everything — possessions, dignities, country, and kindred, even to the embracing of torments and death — in order to give themselves wholly to Thee. Unhappy they who resist the graces Thou hast gained for them with Thy great labours and sorrows. O my God, this will be their great torment in hell, to think that they have lost a God Who, to draw them to love Him, gave His life upon a Cross; that of their own choice they have perished, and that there will be no remedy for their ruin through all eternity!

O my Redeemer, I have already deserved to perish through the sins I have committed against Thee. Alas, how often have I resisted Thy grace, which sought to draw me unto Thee, and, in order to cleave to my own inclinations, have despised Thy love, and turned my back upon Thee! Oh that I had died before I had offended Thee! Oh that I had always loved Thee! I thank Thee, O my Love, that Thou hast borne with me with so much patience, and that, instead of abandoning me, as I deserved, Thou hast repeated Thy invitations, and increased Thy lights and Thy loving impulses. I will sing the mercies of the Lord forever (Ps. lxxxviii. 2).

Oh, cease not, my Saviour and my Hope, to continue to draw me, and to multiply Thy graces upon me, that I may love Thee in Heaven with more fervour, remembering the many mercies Thou hast shown me, after all my offences against Thee. I hope for all, through that precious Blood Thou hast shed for me, and that bitter death Thou hast endured for me.

O holy Virgin Mary, protect me; pray to Jesus for me.

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