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Monday – Third Week After Pentecost

He was subject to them.”

From book "Morning Meditations for all days of the year from texts of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori"... God created Adam and enriched him with gifts, but...

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Morning Meditations

Saint Alphonsus

God created Adam and enriched him with gifts, but ungrateful man offended Him by rebelling, and thus both he and all his posterity remained deprived of divine grace and Paradise. What did the Eternal Father do to save lost man? He sent His own Son to become Man, and to die for man, in order that by His death He might pay man’s debts to divine justice and so restore him to divine grace. O God, what a subject of astonishment to the Angels, this great love of God to rebellious man!

I. God created Adam and enriched him with gifts, but ungrateful man offended Him by rebelling, and thus he and all his posterity were deprived of divine grace and Paradise. Thus, then, all mankind was lost and without a remedy. Man had offended God, and therefore was incapable of giving Him an adequate satisfaction; it was necessary, then, that Divine Person should satisfy for man. What did the Eternal Father do to save lost man? He sent His own Son to become Man, and clothe Himself with the same flesh as sinful men, in order that by His death He might pay man’s debts to divine Justice, and thus obtain for man a restoration to divine grace.

O my God, if Thy infinite bounty had not discovered this remedy, who of us could ever have asked it or even imagined it?

O God, what a subject of wonder must not this great love which God showed to rebellious man have been to the Angels! What must they have said when they saw the Eternal Word become Man, and assume the same flesh as sinful man, insomuch that this Word Incarnate appeared to the whole world in the form of sinful man, as were all others. O my Jesus, how much do we not owe Thee, and how much more than others am I not indebted to Thee, who have offended Thee so much more than others! If Thou hadst not come to save me, what would have become of me for all eternity? Who could have saved me from the pains that I deserve? Mayest Thou be ever blessed and praised for so great love!

II. But, O God, how few there are who show themselves grateful for so immense a love by faithfully loving their Redeemer! Alas! the greater part of men, after so incomparable a benefit, after so many great mercies and so much love, still say to God: Lord, we will not serve Thee; we choose rather to be the slaves of the devil and condemned to hell than be Thy servants. Listen to how God upbraids such thankless wretches: Thou hast burst my bands, and thou saidst: I will not serve-(Jer. ii. 20).

What say you? Have you too been one of these? And. tell me, whilst living far from God and the slave of the devil, have you felt really happy? Have you been at peace? Ah, no, the divine words can never fail: Because thou didst not serve the Lord thy God with joy and gladness of heart, thou shalt serve thy enemy in hunger and thirst and nakedness, and in want of all things-(Deut. xxviii. 47). Since thou hast preferred to serve thy enemy rather than serve thy God, behold how that tyrant has treated thee. He has made thee groan as a slave in chains, poor, afflicted, and deprived of every interior consolation. But come, rise up; God speaks to thee whilst thou mayest still be freed from the fetters of death which bind thee: Loose the bonds from off thy neck, O captive daughters of Sion-(Is. Iii. 2). Make haste while time is left. Unbind thyself, poor soul, who hast become the voluntary slave of hell; strike off these cursed chains that hold thee fast as a prey for hell, and bind thyself instead with My chains of gold, chains of love, chains of peace, chains of salvation: Her bands are a healthful binding-(Ecclus. vi. 31). But in what manner are souls bound to God? By love: Have charity, which is the bond of perfection-(Col. iii. 14). A soul that always walks by the single way of the fear of punishment, and from this single motive avoids sin, is always in danger of making a relapse before long into sin; but he that attaches himself to God by love is sure not to lose God as long as he loves Him.

O my Jesus, Thou hast been pleased to become a Servant for love of me, and in order to release me from the chains of hell; and not only the Servant of Thy Father, but of men and of executioners, even to the laying down of Thy life: and I, for the love of some wretched and poisonous pleasure, have so often forsaken Thy service, and have become the slave of the devil. A thousand times over I curse those moments in which, by a wicked abuse of my free-will, I despised Thy grace, O infinite Majesty! In pity pardon me, and bind me to Thyself with those delightful chains of love with which Thou keepest Thy chosen souls in closest union with Thee. I love Thee, O Incarnate Word; I love Thee, O my sovereign Good!

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