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Monday – Third Week After Pentecost

The practice of the love of Jesus Christ - 067

From book "Evening Meditations for all days of the year from texts of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori"... XXXII.-HE THAT LOVES JESUS CHRIST SEEKS TO DETAC...

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Evening Meditations

Saint Alphonsus


I. We must love God in the way that pleases God, and not that pleases ourselves. God will have us divested of all, in order to be united to Himself, and to be replenished with His Divine love. St. Teresa writes as follows: “The prayer of union appears to me to be nothing more than to die utterly, as it were, to all things in this world, for the enjoyment of God alone. One thing is certain, that the more completely we empty ourselves of creatures by detaching ourselves from them for the love of God, the more abundantly will He fill us with Himself, and the more closely shall we be united with Him.” Many spiritual persons would attain to union with God; but then they accept not the contradictions which God sends them: they fret at having to suffer from ill-health, from poverty, from affronts; but, for want of resignation, they will never come to a perfect union with God. Let us hear what St. Catherine of Genoa says: “To arrive at union with God, the contrarieties which God sends us are absolutely necessary: His purpose is to consume in us, by means of them, all irregular movements, both within and without. And hence all contempt, ailments, poverty, temptations, and other trials, are all indispensable, to give us the opportunity of fighting; that so, by the way of victory, we may eventually extinguish all inordinate movements, so as to be no longer sensible of them; furthermore, until we begin to find contradictions sweet for God’s sake, instead of bitter, we shall never arrive at divine union.”

O Jesus, my Love, my Hope, my Courage, and my Consolation, give me strength to be faithful to Thee! Grant me light, and make known to me from what I ought to detach myself; supply me too with a strong will to obey Thee in all things. O Love of my soul, I offer myself, and deliver myself up entirely, to satisfy the desire Thou hast to unite Thyself with me, that I may be wholly united with Thee, my God and my All. Come, then, my Jesus; come and take possession of my whole self, and occupy all my thoughts and all my affections. I renounce all my desires, all my comforts, and all created things; Thou alone art sufficient for me. Grant me the grace to think only of Thee, to desire only Thee, to seek only Thee, my Beloved and my only Good! O Mary, Mother of God, obtain for me holy perseverance!

II. I will here subjoin the teaching of St. John of the Cross. The Saint says that to acquire a perfect union, “a thorough mortification of the senses and of the appetites is necessary. On the part of the senses, every single liking that presents itself to them, if it be not purely for the glory of God, should forthwith be rejected for the love of Jesus Christ; for example, should you have a desire to see or hear something in no wise conducive to the greater glory of God, then refrain from it. As to the appetites also, we should endeavour to force ourselves always to choose the worst, the most disagreeable or the poorest without fostering any other wish than to suffer and to be despised.” In a word, he that truly loves Jesus Christ loses all affection for things of earth, and seeks to strip himself of all, in order to keep himself united with Jesus Christ alone. Jesus is the object of all his desires, Jesus the subject of all his thoughts; for Jesus he continually sighs; in every place, at every time, on every occasion, his sole-aim is to give pleasure to Jesus. But to reach this point we must strive unceasingly to rid the heart of every affection which is not for God. And, I ask, what is meant by giving the soul entirely to God? It means, firstly, to shun whatever may be displeasing to God, and to do what is most pleasing to Him; secondly, it means to accept unreservedly all that comes from His hands, how hard or disagreeable soever it may be; it means, thirdly, to give the preference in all things to the will of God over our own: this is what is meant by belonging wholly to God.

Ah, my God and my All! I cannot help feeling that, in spite of all my ingratitude and remissness in Thy service, Thou still invitest me to love Thee. Behold me, then, I will resist Thee no longer. I will leave all to be wholly Thine. I will no more live for myself: Thy claims on my love are too strong. My soul is enamoured of Thee; my Jesus, it sighs after Thee. And how can I possibly love anything else, after seeing Thee die of suffering on a Cross in order to save me! How can I behold Thee dead, all worn out with torments, and not love Thee with my whole heart? Yes, I love Thee indeed with all my soul; and I have no other desire but to love Thee in this life and for all eternity.

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The practice of the love of Jesus Christ - 066

Third Sunday After Pentecost (The Feast of the Mother of Perpetual Succour)