CONSIDERATIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST
The Apostle wishes to increase our confidence when he says: We know that to them that love God all things work together unto good (Rom. viii. 28). By this he teaches us that shame, sickness, poverty, persecutions, are not evils, as men of the world account them; for God turns them all into blessings and glory for those who suffer with patience. Finally, he says: For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son (Rom. viii. 29). With these words he would persuade us that, if we would be saved, we must resolve to suffer everything rather than lose Divine grace, for no one can be admitted to the glory of the Blessed, unless at the Day of Judgment his life be found conformed to the life of Jesus Christ.
O my God, it is true that in my ingratitude I have had the heart to cause Thee so much displeasure and sorrow! But what is past is past! At least for the rest of my life, O my Lord, I will love Thee with all my power; I will live only for Thee; I will be wholly Thine; wholly, wholly, wholly Thine. But Thou must accomplish this. Detach me from every earthly thing, and give me light and strength to seek Thee alone, my only Good, my Love, my All.
O Mary, hope of sinners, thou must help me with thy prayers. Pray, pray for me, and cease not to pray, until thou seest me belonging wholly to God.
That sinners may not abandon themselves to despair on account of their guilt, St. Paul encourages them to hope for pardon, telling them that for this end the Eternal Father has not spared His own Son, Who was offered to satisfy for our sins, but gave Him up to death, that He might pardon us sinners; and still further to increase the hope of penitent sinners, he says: Who is he that shall condemn? Jesus Christ that died? (Rom. viii. 34), as though he had said: Sinners, you who detest your sins, why do you fear to be condemned to hell? Tell me who is your Judge? — who is to condemn you? Is it not Jesus Christ? How, then, can you fear that you will be condemned to death by this loving Redeemer Who, that He might not condemn you, has been willing to condemn Himself to die as a malefactor upon the infamous gibbet of the Cross? He speaks, indeed of those sinners who, being contrite, have washed their souls in the Blood of the Lamb, according to the words of St. John: These are they who … have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Apoc. vii. 14).
O my Jesus, if I look at my sins I am ashamed to ask for Paradise, after the many times that I have openly renounced Thee, for the sake of short and miserable pleasures; but looking to Thee upon this Cross, I cannot cease to hope for Paradise, knowing that Thou hast been willing to die upon this tree to atone for my sins, and to obtain for me the Paradise I had despised. O my sweet Redeemer, I hope, through the merits of Thy death, that Thou hast already pardoned me the sins I have committed against Thee, for which I repent, and now I would rather die of grief for them.