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desire to love thee as much as thou deservest. But I know that of myself I can do nothing: make me grateful to thee for thy immense love towards me, I beseech thee, for the love of Jesus Christ thy Son. Grant that during life I may conquer all to please thee; and that at my death I may depart in perfect resignation to thy will, to come to love thee face to face with perfect love for ever in heaven.

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XXXIV. I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. St. John x. 11. O my Jesus, what sayest thou? What shepherd was ever pleased to give his life for his sheep? Only thou; because thou art a God of infinite love, thou alone art able to say: "And I lay down my life for my sheep." Thou alone couldst show to the world such an excess of love, who being God and our supreme Lord, wast pleased to die for us. Of this excess Moses and Elias spoke on mount Thabor: They spoke of his excess, which he should accomplish in Jerusalem. St. Luke ix. 31. Hence St. John reminds us, saying: Let us therefore love God, because God first hath loved us. 1 St. John iv. 19. As though he had said: if we do not love God on account of his infinite goodness, let us at least love him for the love which he has shown us, in being pleased to suffer for us the punishments which we had deserved.

Remind me continually, O my Jesus, that I am one of those sheep for whom thou layedst down thy life. O do thou look upon me with those looks of pity with which thou didst look upon me from thy cross when dying for me; look on me, change me, and save me. Thou sayest thou art that loving shepherd, who finding the lost sheep, takest it with joy upon thy shoulders, and carrying it home, callest together thy friends and neighbours to rejoice with thee for having found thy sheep that was lost. Behold I am the lost sheep, seek me and find me: I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; seek thy servant. Ps. cxviii. 176.

If through my own fault thou hast not already found me; take me now and bind me to thee, that I may not stray to perdition. Let the bands be those of thy love; if thou dost not bind me with these sweet bands, Í shall again be lost. Ah thou hast not failed to bind me to thee with thy love; but I have always ungratefully fled from thee. But I beseech thee through that mercy which caused thee to descend upon the earth, in order to find me, Oh bind me, but bind me with redoubled bands of love, that thou mayest never more lose me, and I may never more lose thee. My beloved Redeemer, I will never more separate myself from thee. I renounce all earthly goods and desires, and I offer myself to suffer every pain, and death itself that I may ever live and die united with thee. I love thee, my most amiable Jesus, I love thee, my good Shepherd, who hast died for me thy lost sheep, which now loves thee more than itself, and desires nothing else but to love thee and to be consumed with thy love. Have pity on me; love me, and never suffer me again to stray from thee.

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XXXV. I lay down my life...... no man taketk it away from me; but I lay it down of myself. St. John, x. 16, 17. Behold, then, the Word made flesh, influenced solely by his love for us, accepts of the death of the cross to restore us to the life which we had lost. "Behold," says St. Thomas, "God "does for man, what no other could have done, as if man had been the God of God, and as if "God without man could not in himself have been happy." We had sinned and by sinning we had deserved eternal torments: and what does Jesus do? he takes upon himself the obligation of making satisfaction for us, and by his sufferings and death pays the price of our redemption: Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows. Isa. liii. 4.

Ah my Jesus, since I have been the cause of so

much sorrow and bitterness to thee upon the earth, O give me, I beseech thee, some share of thy sorrow for my sins, that I may have confidence in thy passion. What would have become of me, O Lord, if thou hadst not been pleased to make satisfaction for me? O infinite majesty, I am sorry from the bottom of my heart for having offended thee, but I hope for mercy from thee, O infinite goodness. Apply to my soul, O Saviour of the world, the fruit of thy death, and instead of a rebellious and ungrateful sinner, make me thy loving child, so to love thee as to love no other but thee and to fear nothing but thy displeasure. May the excessive love which caused thee to die for me on the cross, stifle within me all earthly affections. My Jesus, take possession of my whole body, so that it may serve only to obey thee; take possession of my whole heart, so that it may desire nothing but to please thee; take possession of my whole will, so that it may will nothing but what thou willest. I embrace thee and press thee to my heart. O my Redeemer, do not disdain to be united with me. I love thee, O God of love, I love thee, my only good. And how shall I have the heart to leave thee, now that thou hast made me sensible how much thou hast loved me, and how many mercies thou hast exercised towards me, exchanging the chastisements which were due to me for graces and favours? O holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of being faithful to thy Son Jesus.

XXXVI. Blotting out the hand writing of the decree that was against us, and he hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross. Coloss. ii. 14. Sentence was written against us by which we were condemned to eternal death as rebels against infinite majesty. And what has Jesus Christ done? with his blood he has canceled the writing of condemnation, and to deliver us from all fear has affixed it to his own cross, upon which

by dying he has made satisfaction to divine justice for us. My soul, see the obligation under which thou art placed to this thy Redeemer; and listen to the admonition of the Holy Spirit: Forget not the kindness of thy surety, for he has given his life for thee. Eccl. xxix. 19. Forget not the kindness of him who taking thy debts upon himself has paid them, and has affixed their discharge upon When then thou rememberest thy sins, look on the cross and hope: look on that sacred wood purpled with the blood of the Lamb of God sacrificed for thy love, and hope in and love a God who has so loved thee.

the cross.

Yes, my Jesus, I hope for all from thy infinite bounty. It is for thy divine mercy, to render good for evil to him, who, arising from his sins, is sorry for having committed them, and loves thee. Yes, my beloved Redeemer, I am sorry above every evil, for having so much despised thy infinite goodness; and pierced with thy love, I love thee; and desire to please thee in all that thou appointest. Alas! when I was in sin, I was a slave of the devil, and he was my cruel master. Now, that I hope I am in thy grace, thou, my Jesus, art my only Lord, my only love. Take possession of me, entirely and for ever, for I desire to be entirely and eternally thine. No, I will never forget the pains which thou hast suffered for me, that I may always become more and more inflamed with thy love. I love thee, my most amiable Redeemer, I love thee, O Word made flesh, my treasure, my all, I love thee, I love thee.

XXXVII. If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just: and he is the propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2. Oh what great confidence do these words give to penitent sinners! Jesus Christ is their advocate in heaven, and will assuredly obtain pardon for them. The devil, when the sinner escapes from his chains,

tempts him to despair of pardon. But St. Paul gives him confidence: Who is he that shall condemn? Jesus Christ that died who also maketh inter

cession for us. Rom. viii. 34. As though he had said: If we detest our sins, why should we fear? Who is it that shall condemn us? it is Jesus Christ, he who died that he might not condemn us, and is at present in heaven making intercession for us. He goes on to say: "Who shall separate us from the love of Jesus Christ?" As if he had said: But after we have been pardoned with so much love by Jesus Christ, and received into his grace and favour, who shall ever have the heart to turn his back upon him and separate himself from his love?

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No, my Jesus, I will not trust myself to live any more separated from thee and deprived of thy love. I lament those unhappy days when I lived deprived of thy grace. I now hope that thou hast pardoned me; I love thee, and thou lovest me. Thou however lovest me with an immense love, and I love thee but very little; help me to love thee still more and more. O infinite goodness, I am sorry above every evil for having, during the time past, treated thee so unworthily; I now love thee above all things, more than myself, and I am more delighted, my God, that thou art infinitely happy, than on account of my own felicity, because I love thee who art deserving of infinite love more than myself, who deserve nothing but hell. O my Jesus, I desire nothing from thee but thyself.

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XXXVIII. Come to me you that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28. Let us listen to Jesus Christ fastened to the cross, and on the altar where he resides sacramentally, calling us poor sinners to him, to console and enrich us with his graces. Oh what great mysteries of love for us are the passion of Jesus and the Sacrament of the Eucharist! Mysteries,

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