Thursday, 4 June 2015
Meditations for the Octave of Corpus Christi by St Alphonsus Liguori - Day 1
MEDITATIONS FOR THE OCTAVE OF CORPUS CHRISTI
by St Alphonsus Liguori
ON THE LOVE OF JESUS IN THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT.
Our most loving Redeemer, knowing that He must leave this earth and return to His Father as soon as He should have accomplished the work of our redemption by His death, and seeing that the hour of His death was now come, - "Jesus knowing that His hour was come, that He should pass out of this world unto the Father" (St. John xiii. 1), - would not leave us alone in this valley of tears, and therefore what did He do? He instituted the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, in which He left us His whole Self. "No tongue," said St. Peter of Alcantara, "is able to declare the greatness of the love that Jesus bears to every soul: and therefore this Spouse, when He would leave this earth, in order that His absence might not cause us to forget Him, left us as a memorial this Blessed Sacrament, in which He Himself remained; for He would not that there should be any. other pledge to keep alive our remembrance of Him than He Himself." Jesus, therefore, would not be separated from us by His death; but He instituted this Sacrament of Love, in order to be with us even to the end of the world: "Behold I am with you even to the consummation of the world" (St. Matt, xxviii. 20). Behold Him, then, as faith teaches us, - behold Him on so many altars shut up as in so many prisons of love, in order that He may be found by every one that seeks Him. But, O Lord, says St. Bernard, this does not become Thy majesty. Jesus Christ answers, It is enough that it becomes My love.
They feel great tenderness and devotion who go to Jerusalem and visit the cave where the Incarnate Word was born, the hall where He was scourged, the hill of Calvary on which He died, and the sepulchre where He was buried; but how much greater ought not our tenderness to be when we visit an altar on which Jesus remains in the Most Holy Sacrament! The Ven. Father John Avila used to say, that of all sanctuaries there is not one to be found more excellent and devout than a church where Jesus is sacramentally present.
AFFECTIONS AND PRAYERS.
O my beloved Jesus, O God, who hast loved men with such exceeding love! what more canst Thou do to make Thyself loved by these ungrateful men? Oh, if men loved Thee, all the churches would be continually filled with people prostrate on the ground adoring and thanking Thee, and burning with love for Thee at seeing Thee with the eyes of faith hidden in a tabernacle. But no; men, forgetful of Thee and of Thy love, are ready enough to court a man from whom they hope for some miserable advantage, while they leave Thee, O my Lord, abandoned and alone. Oh, that I could by my devotion make reparation for such ingratitude! I am sorry that I also have hitherto been like them, careless and ungrateful. But for the future I will not be so any longer, and I will devote myself to Thy service as much as I possibly can. Do Thou inflame me with Thy holy love, so that from this day forth I may live only to love and to please Thee. Thou deservest the love of all hearts. If at one time I have despised Thee, I now desire nothing but to love Thee. O my Jesus, Thou art my Love and my only Good, 'my God and my All.' Most holy Virgin Mary, obtain for me, I pray thee, a great love for the Most Holy Sacrament.