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Friday after of the eigth week after Pentecost

Meditating in The Passion of Christ is a school of Divine Love

From book "Meditations of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori for every day of the year"... Ignem veni mittere in terram; et quid volo, nisi u...

Image for Meditations for every day of the year
Meditations for every day of the year

Saint Alphonsus

Ignem veni mittere in terram; et quid volo, nisi ut accendatur?
I am come to cast fire on the earth. And what will I, but that it be kindled?
Lc. 12, 49

Summary Jesus Christ is loved by few, because few are the ones who reflect on the pains He suffered for us. Those who considers them, cannot live without loving Jesus; because he/she will be so bound this love that it will be impossible for him/her not to love a God who died exhausted with blood to win our love. Let us pray to the divine Mother, Mary, to obtain for us from her Son the grace to enter her sacred wounds through continual meditation.

I. O lover of souls, our most beloved Redeemer, declared that he came to earth and became man to kindle in all hearts the fire of holy love: I am come to cast fire on the earth. Oh! Of what beautiful flames of charity has He not burned such a great number of souls, especially through the sufferings He wanted to bear in His death, in order to show us the immensity of His love for us! Oh! How many happy hearts were so inflamed in the wounds of Jesus, as in so many other furnaces of love, that they did not hesitate to sacrifice His goods, life, all of themselves, courageously overcoming all the difficulties they encountered in the observance of divine law!

Indeed, who can fail to love Jesus, seeing him throughout his life, tormented and despised, and finally die exhausted with blood on the cross, in order to win our love? – Friar João de Alvernia, every time he glanced at Jesus covered with sores, he couldn't hold back the tears. Frei Thiago de Tuderto, hearing the Passion of the Redeemer, not only shed heartfelt tears, but burst into deep sighs, oppressed by the love he burned for his divine Master.

Finally, not to mention many others, it was in the sweet school of the Crucifix that Saint Francis became a seraphim of love. He wept so continually when he meditated on the sufferings of Jesus Christ that he almost lost his sight. One day he was found screaming pitifully, and he was asked what he had. “Ah! What can I have?” he replied, “I weep for the pains and insults of my Lord. And my pain,” he added, “increases seeing the ingratitude of men who do not love Him, and live without thinking of Him.” Every time he heard a lamb sway, he was moved with compassion at the thought of the death of Jesus, the spotless Lamb, slain on the cross for the sins of the world. Burning with love, this Saint could not recommend anything with more commitment to his brothers than the frequent remembrance of the Passion of Jesus.

II. A pious loner begged God to teach him what he could do to love him perfectly. The Lord revealed to him that to reach perfect love there was no exercise more useful than frequent meditation on his Passion. This is exactly the advice that the Apostle gave us not to faint, but to run swiftly on the way to heaven. "that you be not wearied," writes the Apostle to the Hebrews, "fainting in your minds, think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself." (Hb. 12, 3) Writing afterwards to the faithful of Corinth, he adds: Caritas Christi urget nos (2Co. 5, 14) – “The charity of Christ presseth us”. As if to say: Jesus is loved by a small number, because the number of those who meditate on the pains He suffered for us is small; but what meditates on them many times cannot live without loving Jesus. He will feel so constrained by divine love that it will be impossible for him not to love a God who love us so much and who has suffered so much to be loved.

Saint Teresa rightly complained bitterly about certain books that had advised her to leave meditation on the Passion as an obstacle to the contemplation of the Godhead. – “O Lord of my soul”, exclaimed the Saint, “o my crucified Jesus! Is it possible that You are for me an obstacle to a greater good? And whence have all goods come to me but from You?” Then she adds: "I have observed that, for your own satisfaction, and to give us great graces, God wants everything to pass through the hands of the most holy Humanity, in which the divine Majesty assures us that you have placed your complacency."

Let us also ask the divine Mother, Mary, to obtain for us from her Son the grace to enter through continuous meditation into the sacred wounds, these furnaces of love, where so many loving hearts were burned; so that, when all earthly affections are consumed in us, we may also burn in the happy flames that make souls holy on earth and blessed in heaven.

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