Friday, March 02, 2007

First Friday, Ember Week in Lent

Amor meus crucifixus est.

By St. Alphonsus Ligouri in his book, The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ

“Oh, if thou didst know the mystery of the cross,” (O! si scires mysterium crucis!) said St. Andrew to the tyrant. O tyrant (it was his wish to say), wert thou to understand the love which Jesus Christ has borne thee, in willing to die upon a cross to save thee, thou wouldst abandon all thy possessions and earthly hopes, in order to give thyself wholly to the love of this thy Saviour. The same ought to be said to those Catholics who, believing as they do, the Passion of Jesus, yet do not think of it. Ah, were all men to think upon the love which Jesus Christ has shown forth for us in his death, who would ever be able not to love him? It was for this end, says the Apostle, that He, our beloved Redeemer, died for us, that, by the love He displayed towards us in His death, He might become the possessor of our hearts: To this end Christ died, and rose again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living; therefore, whether we live, or whether we die, we are the Lord’s Rom. Xiv.9 Whether, then, we die or live, it is but just that we belong wholly to Jesus, who has saved us at so great a cost. Oh, who is there that could say, as did the loving martyr St. Ignatius, whose lot it was to give his life for Jesus Christ, “Let fire, cross, beasts, and torments of every kind come upon me; let me only have fruition of Thee, O Christ.” (Ignis, crux, bestiae. Et tota tormenta in me veniant; tantum te, Christe, fruar.) Let flames, crosses, wild beasts, and every kind of torture come upon me, provided only that I obtain and enjoy my Jesus Christ.

O my dear Lord! Thou didst die in order to gain my soul; but what have I done in order to gain Thee, O infinite good? Ah, my Jesus, how often have I lost Thee for nothing! Miserable that I was, I knew at the time that I was losing Thy grace by my sin; I knew that I was giving Thee great displeasure; and yet I committed it. My consolation is, that I have to deal with an infinite goodness, who remembers his offences no more when a sinner repents and loves him. Yes, my God, I do repent and love Thee. Oh, pardon me; and do Thou from this day forth bear rule in this rebellious heart of mine. To Thee do I consign it; to Thee do I wholly give myself. Tell me what Thou dost desire; wishing, as I do, to perform it all. Yes, my Lord, I wish to love Thee; I wish to please Thee in everything. Do Thou give me strength, and I hope to do so.

O Dearest Mother, all Angels and Saints, please pray for me, intercede for me.

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