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.
The greatest ignominies Jesus had to suffer were those of His Passion. In the first place He then had to see Himself abandoned by His beloved disciples. One of them betrayed Him, another denied Him, and when He was captured in the Garden, all fled and abandoned Him: Then his disciples leaving him, all fled away (Mark, xiv. 50).
Let us consider the Patience of God in waiting for sinners to return. That great Servant of God, Sancia Carillo, a penitent of Blessed John of Avila, used to say that the consideration of God’s patience with sinners made her wish to build a church, and entitle it “The Patience of God.” Ah, who could ever bear with what God has borne with from you?
We should, indeed, honour St. Joseph since the Son of God Himself was graciously pleased to honour him, by calling him His father. “Christ,” says Origen, “gave to Joseph the honour due to a parent.” He is also thus spoken of in the Gospel: and his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him (Luke ii. 33). The Divine Mother also spoke of him under this name. Thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing (Ibid. 48). Since, then, the King of Kings was pleased to raise Joseph to so high a dignity, it is right and a duty on our part, to endeavour to honour him as much as we can.
There are some temptations which we should conquer by contrary acts. For example, temptations to take revenge must be overcome by seeking to do good to those who have offended us; temptations to vanity by humbling ourselves; to envy by rejoicing at the good of others; similar temptations must be conquered in the same manner. But it is better to resist other temptations, such as those against Faith, or against chastity, or to blasphemy, by despising them, and by making good acts directly opposed to the temptations, such as acts of confidence, of contrition, of charity.
In general, as St. Thomas says, to foresee and reflect upon the trials that may come is a help to bear them with fortitude. Jesus Christ said to His disciples: In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world (Jo. xvi. 33). My children, know that in the world you shall be afflicted and despised; but have confidence in Me Who have conquered the world.
If you really wish to please God, and at the same time give good example to others, embrace with peace all the infirmities God sends you. Oh, how great is the edification he gives, who in spite of all his pains and even the danger of death with which he may be threatened, preserves a serene countenance, abstains from all complaining, who thanks all for their attention, whether it be much or little, and accepts in the spirit of obedience the remedies applied, however bitter or painful they may be!
It is impossible for a client of Mary, who is faithful in honouring and recommending himself to her, to be lost. To some this proposition may appear, at first sight, exaggerated; but any one to whom this might seem to be the case I would beg to suspend his judgment, and, first of all, read what I have to say.
The life of our loving Redeemer was full of desolation, and bereft of every comfort. It was a great ocean of bitterness, without one drop of sweetness or consolation: For great as the sea is thy destruction (Lam. ii. 13). This was revealed by our Lord to St. Margaret of Cortona, when He told her that in His whole life He never experienced sensible consolation.
To acquire the perfect love of God we must adopt the means of becoming saints.