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Tuesday – Third Week After Pentecost

The practice of the love of Jesus Christ - 068

From book "Evening Meditations for all days of the year from texts of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori"... “Charity is not provoked to anger.” XXXIII.-HE ...

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Evening Meditations

Saint Alphonsus

“Charity is not provoked to anger.”


I. The virtue not to be angry at the contrarieties that happen to us is the daughter of meekness. We have already spoken at length on the acts that belong to meekness; but since this is a virtue that requires to be constantly practised by everyone living among his fellow men, we will here make some remarks on the same subject more in particular, and more adapted for practice.

Humility and meekness were the favourite virtues of Jesus Christ; so that He bade His disciples learn of Him to be meek and humble: Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart-(Matt. xi. 29}. Our Redeemer was called the Lamb-Behold the Lamb of God-as well in consideration of His having to be offered in sacrifice on the Cross for our sins, as in consideration of the meekness exhibited by Him during His entire life, but more especially at the time of His Passion. When in the house of Caiphas He received a blow from that servant, who at the same time upbraided Him with presumption in those words: Answerest thou the high-priest so? Jesus only answered: If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; but if well, why strikest thou me?-(Jo. xviii. 23}. He observed the same invariable meekness of conduct till death. While on the Cross, and made the object of universal scorn and blasphemy, He only besought the Eternal Father to forgive His enemies: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do-(Luke xxiii. 34}.

II. Oh, how dear to Jesus Christ are those meek souls who, in suffering affronts, derision, calumnies, persecution, and even chastisement and blows, are not irritated against the person that thus injures or strikes them: The prayer of the meek hath always pleased thee (Judith ix. 16). God is always pleased with the prayers of the meek; that is to say, their prayers are always heard. Heaven is expressly promised to the meek: Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land –(Matt. v. 4). Father Alvarez said that Paradise is the country of those who are despised and persecuted and trodden under foot here. Yes, for it is for them that the possession of the eternal Kingdom is reserved, and not for the haughty who are honoured and esteemed by the world. David declares that the meek shall not only inherit eternal happiness, but shall likewise enjoy great peace in the present life: The meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight in abundance of peace-(Ps. xxxvi. 11). It is so, because the Saints harbour no malice against those who ill-treat them, but rather love them the more; and the Lord, in reward for their patience, gives them an increase of interior peace. St. Teresa said: “I seem to experience a renewed love towards those persons who speak ill of me.” This gave occasion to the Sacred Congregation to say of the Saint, that “even affronts themselves supplied her with the food of charity.” Offences became a fresh reason for her to love the person who had offended her. No one can have such meekness as this, if he has not a great humility and a low opinion of himself, so as to consider himself worthy of every kind of contempt; and hence we see, on the contrary, that the proud are always irritable and vindictive, because they have a high conceit of themselves, and esteem themselves worthy of all honour.

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The practice of the love of Jesus Christ - 067

Monday – Third Week After Pentecost