Evening Meditations for the Twenty-fourth Sunday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

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Evening Meditation



Through fear of losing his kingdom the wicked Herod sought the life of the Divine Child. St. Fulgentius contemplating little Jesus flying into Egypt, tenderly exclaims: “Why art thou troubled, O Herod? The King Who is just now born comes not to overthrow other kings by force of arms, but to subjugate them by dying for them.” As though he had said: The King of Heaven is not come to conquer us by war, but by love; He is not come to put us to death, but to rescue us from death by dying for us. Hence it is that Jesus may indeed be styled the King of Love.

Oh that I had always loved Thee, O Jesus, my sovereign King, and that I had never offended Thee! Thou didst spend thirty-three years in pain and labour to save me, and I have wilfully renounced Thee, my sovereign Good, for the sake of momentary pleasures! Father of mercy, forgive me, and embrace me with the kiss of peace.

Ungrateful Jews! why did you refuse to acknowledge for your King One so lovely and so loving towards you? Why did you exclaim: We have no king but Caesar? (Jo. xix. 15). Caesar did not love you, nor desire to die for you; while your true King Jesus descended from Heaven upon the earth to die for the love of you.

O sweet Saviour Christ, if others will not receive Thee as their King, I will have no other King but Thee: “Jesus, Thou art my King.” I know that Thou alone lovest me; Thou alone hast redeemed me with Thy Blood; where then shall I find one who has loved me as Thou hast loved me? I am grieved for having hitherto rejected Thee as my King by rebelling against Thee! Pardon me, O Jesus, my King! for Thou hast died to purchase pardon for me.


To this end Christ died and rose again; that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living (Rom. xiv. 9).

My beloved King, dearest Jesus, since Thou camest upon earth to gain our hearts to Thyself, if hitherto I have resisted Thy loving calls, I will now no longer resist them. Do not disdain to accept me; I now give myself to Thee, I give Thee my whole self. Take, O my King, possession of my whole will, and of my whole self. Make me loyal to Thee; and grant that I may rather die than betray Thee any more, O my King, my Love, my only Good. O Queen, and Mother of my King, O Mary, obtain for me that I may be faithful to what I this day promise to thy Divine Son.


O King of Heaven, from starry throne descending,
Thou takest refuge in this wretched cave;
O God of bliss! I see Thee cold and trembling!
What pain it cost Thee fallen man to save!

Thou, of a thousand worlds the great Creator,
Dost now the pain of cold and want endure;
Thy poverty but makes Thee more endearing,
For well I know ’tis love has made Thee poor.

I see Thee leave Thy Heavenly Father’s bosom,
But whither has Thy love transported Thee?
Upon a little straw I see Thee lying;
Why suffer thus? ‘Tis all for love of me.

But if it is Thy will for me to suffer,
And by these sufferings my heart to move,
Wherefore, my Jesus, do I see Thee weeping?
‘Tis not for pain Thou weepest, but for love.

Thou weepest thus to see me so ungrateful;
My sins have pierced Thee to the very core;
I once despised Thy love, but now I love Thee,
I love but Thee; then, Jesus, weep no more.

Thou sleepest, Lord, but Thy Heart ever watches,
No slumber can a heart so loving take;
But tell me, darling Babe, of what Thou thinkest,
“I think,” He says, “of dying for thy sake.”

Is it for me that Thou dost think of dying!
What, then, O Jesus! can I love but Thee?
Mary, my hope! If I but love Him little–
Be not indignant — love Him thou for me.

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