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known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us. I St. John iii. 16. If indeed faith had not taught us that God has been pleased to die for us, to prove his love towards us, who could ever have believed it?

Ah my Jesus, I believe that thou hast died for me, and hence I acknowledge myself deserving of a thousand hells, for having repaid with injuries and ingratitude the love which thou hast borne me, in giving thy life for me. I give thee thanks for thy great mercy in having promised to pardon such as repent. Relying on this thy gracious promise, I hope for pardon, because I am sorry with my whole heart for having so often despised thy love. But since thy love has not yet abandoned me, overcome by thy love I give and consecrate my whole self to thee. Thou, my Jesus, didst end thy life by dying for me on the cross: what return can I, a miserable creature, make thee? I consecrate my life to thee, by embracing all the sufferings which shall come to me from thy hands in life and in death. Softened and confused at the sight of the many mercies which thou hast shown me, I cast myself at thy feet and embrace thy cross, and thus desire to live and die. O my Redeemer, for the love which thou hast shown me in dying for me, never suffer me to be again separated from thee. Grant me ever to live and die in thy embraces. My Jesus, my Jesus, (I repeat it) grant me ever to live and die in thy embraces.

XXX. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. St. John xii. 32. Thou then, my Saviour, didst say that upon the cross thou wouldst draw all our hearts to thee, and why has my heart for so many years remained at a distance from thee? Ah this has not been because thou hast been wanting on thy part. How many times hast thou called me to thy love, and I have been deaf to thy voice! How many times

hast thou also pardoned me, and lovingly admonished me by remorse of conscience not to offend thee again; and I have again and again offended thee! O my Jesus, condemn me not to hell, because in hell I should for ever curse all the graces which thou hast bestowed upon me; for all thy graces, the lights which thou hast afforded me, the calls with which thou hast favoured me, the patience with which thou hast supported me, the blood which thou hast shed to save me, would be my greatest and most cruel torments. But now I hear thee calling me again, and saying to me with as much love as though I had never offended thee: "Thou "shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart." Thou commandest me to love thee, and I will love thee with my whole heart. But if thou didst not command me, my Jesus, after so many proofs of thy affection, could I live without loving thee? No, I love thee, and, my sovereign good, I love thee with my whole heart. I love thee because thou commandest me to love thee: I love thee because thou art deserving of infinite love: I love thee, and desire nothing else but to love thee; and fear nothing else but to be separated from thee, and to live without thy love. Oh my crucified love, never suffer me to cease to love thee. Remind me continually of the death which thou hast suffered for

me.

Remind me of the endearing ways of thy love towards me; and grant that the remembrance of them may inflame me to love thee daily more and more, and to consume myself for thee, who hast consumed thyself a victim of love upon the cross for me.

XXXI. He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not, with him, given us all things? Rom. viii. 32. Oh what flames of love ought these words to kindle in our hearts: "he delivered him up for us all!" It was necessary that Divine Justice, offended by our sins,

should be satisfied: and what did God do? To make satisfaction for us, he was pleased that his Son should be condemned to death and suffer the punishments due to us: "he spared not his own "Son." Oh God, if the Eternal Father had been capable of grief, what grief would he not have experienced in condemning to death for the sins of his servants, his own beloved and innocent Son? Let us imagine the Eternal Father saying of Jesus dead for our sins: For the wickedness of my people have I struck him. Isa. liii. 8. With great reason did St. Francis of Paula, while meditating on the death of Jesus Christ, exclaim in ecstacies of love: "O charity! O charity! O charity!" On the other hand, what confidence should not the words which follow afford us: "How hath he not, with him, given "us all things?" And how, my God, can I be afraid that thou wilt not grant me pardon, perseverance, thy love, thy paradise, and all the graces which I can hope for from thee, after thou hast given me the object most dear to thee, thy own beloved Son? I know what I must do to obtain all good things from thee, I must ask them for the love of Jesus Christ; of this Jesus himself assures me: Amen, amen, I say to you; if you ask the Father any thing in my name, he will give it you. St. John xvi. 23.

My sovereign and eternal God, I have heretofore despised thy infinite majesty and goodness: but now I love thee above all things: and because I love thee, I am sorry with my whole heart for having offended thee: and I am resolved to accept of every pain and death itself rather than offend thee any more. Pardon me, and grant me the grace, which, relying on the promise of Jesus Christ, I now ask of thee. In the name of Jesus Christ, I beseech thee to grant me holy perseverance until the end of my life, pure and perfect love for thee, perfect conformity to thy blessed will, and finally

the happiness of heaven. And I ask and hope for all these favours through the merits of Jesus Christ. I am not deserving of any thing but punishments, and not of favours; but thou dost not deny any thing to him who prays to thee through the love of Jesus Christ. Ah my good God, I know that thou desirest that I should be all thine, and such do I desire to be and I will not fear that my sins should hinder me from becoming all thine; since Jesus Christ has made satisfaction for them all, and thou for the love of Jesus Christ art ready to grant me whatever I desire, this is my desire and my petition; grant it O God; to love thee, to love thee with all my powers, and to be entirely thine. Most holy Mary, help me.

XXXII. But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Gentiles foolishness. 1 Cor. i. 23. St. Paul testifies to us that the Gentiles, hearing him preach that the Son of God had been crucified for the salvation of men, esteemed it foolishness; as they might have said: Who can believe such folly as that a God would die for his creatures? "It appeared folly," says St. Gregory, "to suppose that God could wish his Son to die "for man's salvation."

My beloved Redeemer, Oh that I could possess the hearts of all mankind, and with them love thee as thou deservest! O God of love, why hast thou spilt thy blood and given thy life for the love of men, since so few burn with thy love? Thou camest to kindle in our hearts the fire of this thy love, and desiredst nothing else but to see it kindled. I beseech thee, therefore, with thy holý Church, for myself and for all men living: "kindle in our hearts the fire of thy love." My God, all goodness, all love, O infinitely amiable and loving God, make thyself known and loved by all. I am not ashamed to pray thus to thee, I who more than others have for the past despised thy love:

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for now, enlightened by thy light, and pierced with so many darts of love from thy heart, inflamed with love for my soul, I desire never more to be ungrateful to thee, as I hitherto have been, but I desire to love thee with all my powers, and to burn with thy love, which thou desirest to kindle within me. I look not for consolations and spiritual ¦ sweetness in loving thee; I do not deserve them, nor do I ask for them, it will be sufficient for me to love thee. I love thee, my sovereign good, I love thee, my God and my all.

XXXIII. The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all......... and the Lord was pleased to bruise him. Isa. liii. 6, 10. See to what a degree divine love proceeded. The Eternal Father loaded his own Son with all our sins, and was pleased that he should rigorously suffer the punishments due to us for them, by dying upon a disgraceful cross in pain and ignominy. With good reason, therefore, does the Apostle call this the too great charity with which God loved us. Eph. ii. 4.

Too much therefore, O my God, hast thou loved me, and too much have I been ungrateful to thee, in offending thee, and so often turning my back upon thee. Behold, O Eternal Father, thy Son upon the cross, wounded and dead for my sake; and for the love of him forgive me and draw my whole heart to thee. "A contrite and humble heart

"thou wilt not despise." Thou for the love of Jesus
Christ, dead for my salvation, wilt not despise a con-
trite and humble heart. I know that I deserve a
thousand hells, but I am sorry with my whole heart
for having offended thee, my sovereign good. Do
not reject me, but have pity on me.
Grant me not
only thy pardon, but also a great love for thee,
which may make some amends for my many
fences against thee. I love thee, O infinite good-
ness, I love thee, O God of love. It would be but
little were I to die and be consumed for thee. I

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