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Wednesday - Sixteenth Week after Pentecost

Considerations on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ - 50

From book "Evening Meditations for all days of the year from texts of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori"... I. Suffering with Patience is a virtue not practi...

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Evening Meditations

Saint Alphonsus

I. Suffering with Patience is a virtue not practised nor even understood by those who love the world. It is understood and practised only by souls who love God. "O Lord," said St. John of the Cross to Jesus Christ, "I ask nothing of Thee but to suffer and to be despised for Thy sake." St. Teresa frequently exclaimed: "O my Jesus, either to suffer or to die." St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi was wont to say: "To suffer and not to die." Thus speak the Saints who love God, because a soul can give no surer mark to God of love than voluntarily to suffer to please Him. This is the great proof which Jesus Christ has given of His love for us. As God He loved us in creating us; in providing us with so many blessings; in calling us to enjoy the same glory that He Himself enjoys; but in nothing else has He more fully shown how much He loves us than in becoming Man, and embracing a painful life, and a death full of pangs and ignominies, for love of us. And how shall we show our love for Jesus Christ? Is it by leading a life full of pleasures and earthly delights?

II. Let us not think for a moment that God takes delight in our pains. The Lord is not of so cruel a nature as to delight to see us, His creatures, groan and suffer. He is a God of infinite goodness, Who desires to see us fully content and happy, so that He is full of sweetness, affability, and compassion to all who come to Him. But our unhappy condition, as sinners, and the gratitude we owe to the love of Jesus Christ, require that, for His, love, we should renounce the delights of this earth, and embrace with affection the cross He gives us to carry during this life, after Him Who goes before, bearing a Cross far heavier than ours; and all this in order to bring us, after our death, to a blessed life, which will never end. God, then, has no desire to see us suffer, but, being Himself infinite justice, He cannot leave our faults unpunished; so that, in order that they may be punished, and that we may one day attain eternal happiness, He would have us purge away our sins with patience, and thus deserve to be eternally blessed. What can be more beautiful and sweet than this rule of Divine Providence, where we see at once justice satisfied and ourselves saved and happy?

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Considerations on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ - 49

Tuesday - Sixteenth Week after Pentecost