Evening Meditations for the Fourteenth Thursday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Posted by

Evening Meditation


When considering the love of the Son of God for men, we should ever bear in mind that when He saw, on the one hand all men condemned because of sin, and on the other Divine Justice requiring a full and perfect satisfaction, He voluntarily offered Himself to make satisfaction for the offences committed by man, who was himself unable to offer such a satisfaction: He was offered, because it was his own will (Is. liii. 7). And this humble Lamb gave Himself to the torturers, suffering them to lacerate His flesh, and to lead Him to death, without lamenting or opening His mouth, as it was foretold: He shall be brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, he shall not open his mouth (Is. liii. 7). St. Paul writes that Jesus Christ accepted the death of the Cross to obey His Father. But let us not imagine that the Redeemer was crucified solely to obey His Father, and not with His own full will; He freely offered Himself to this death, and of His own will chose to die for man, moved by the love He bore him, as He Himself declares by St. John: I lay down my life; no man taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself (Jo. x. 17-18). And He said that it was the work of the Good Shepherd to give His life for His sheep. And why was this? What obligation was there on the Shepherd to give His life for the sheep? Christ also hath loved us, and delivered himself for us (Eph. v. 2).

This, indeed, our loving Redeemer Himself declared, when He said: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself (Jo. xii. 32), thereby showing the kind of death that He would die upon the Cross, as the Evangelist himself explains it: Now this he said, signifying what death he should die (Jo. xii. 33). On these words St. John Chrysostom remarks that He draws souls as it were from the hands of a tyrant. By His death He draws us from the hands of Lucifer, who, as a tyrant, keeps us enchained as slaves, to torment us after our death forever in hell.


Miserable should we be if Jesus Christ had not died for us. We should all have been imprisoned in hell. For us who have deserved hell, it is a great motive for us to love Jesus Christ, to think, that by His death, He delivered us from this hell by pouring forth His Blood.

Let us, then, in passing, glance at the pains of hell, where at this hour are so many wretched souls. Oh, miserable beings! There they are sunk in a sea of fire, where they endure ceaseless agony, since in this fire they experience all kinds of pains. There they are given into the hands of devils, who, full of fury, are busied only in tormenting these miserable condemned ones. There, still more than by the fire and the other tortures, are they tormented by remorse of conscience in recalling the sins of their life, which were the cause of their damnation. They see the way of escape from this abyss of torments for ever closed, and find themselves for ever excluded from the company of the Saints, and from their country, Heaven, for which they were created. But what most afflicts them, and constitutes their hell, is to see themselves abandoned by God, and condemned nevermore to be able to love Him, and to look upon themselves with hatred and madness.

Now from this hell Jesus Christ has delivered us, redeeming us not with gold or any earthly treasure, but by giving His own life and Blood upon the Cross. The kings of the earth send their subjects to die in war to preserve their own security; Jesus Christ chose Himself to die, in order to give safety to His creatures.

Leave a Reply