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Wednesday Within the Octave of Ascension

Divine love strengthens us

From book "Morning Meditations for all days of the year from texts of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori"... “Fortis est ut mars delectio.” Love is strong as...

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Morning Meditations

Saint Alphonsus

“Fortis est ut mars delectio.”

Love is strong as death-{Cant. viii. 6). As there is no created power that can resist death, so with the soul that loves God there is no difficulty that love cannot overcome. O my Jesus, send Thy Holy Spirit that He may come and strengthen me to do and suffer something for Thy love before death overtakes me.

I. Fortis est ut mars delectio. Love is strong as death.

As there is no created power than can resist death, so to the soul that loves God, there is no difficulty which yields not to love. When the soul that loves would please its Beloved, love overcomes all losses, contempt, and sorrows: “Nothing is so hard but that it may be conquered by the fire of love.” This is the most certain mark by which to know whether a soul really loves God, its being as faithful to Him when things are adverse as when they are prosperous. St. Francis of Sales says: “God is just as amiable when He chastises us as when He consoles us, because He does both from love.”

O God of my soul, I say that I love Thee, and yet what do I do for Thy love? Nothing. It is a sign, therefore, that I either do not love Thee, or love Thee too little. Send, therefore, O Jesus, the Holy Ghost upon me, and come and strengthen me to do and to suffer something for Thy love before death overtake me. Suffer me not, O Lord, to depart out of this life cold and ungrateful, as I have hitherto been. Give me strength to love sufferings, on account of the many sins by which I have deserved hell. O my God, Who art all goodness and all love, Thou desirest to dwell in my soul, from which I have so often expelled Thee; come and take possession of it; dwell within it and make it all Thine own.

II. When God afflicts us the most in this life, He loves us the most. St. John Chrysostom considered St. Paul bound in chains more happy than St. Paul rapt to the third heavens. Hence the holy Martyrs, in the midst of their torments, rejoiced, and give thanks to God for the great favour He conferred upon them in allowing them to suffer for His love. And the other Saints, when tyrants were wanting to afflict them, became their own tormentors by the penances which they imposed upon themselves, in order to please God. St. Augustine says: “He who loves, either does not feel the labour, or the labour itself is loved.”

I love Thee, O my Lord; and if I love Thee, Thou art with me, as St. John assures me: He that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him-(I John iv. 16). Since, therefore, Thou art with me, increase the flames, the chains of Thy love, that I may neither desire, nor seek, nor love any other but Thee, and thus bound by Thy love, may never separate myself from Thee any more. I desire, O Jesus, to be Thine, to be all Thine. O Mary, my Queen and advocate, obtain for me love and holy perseverance.

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