A Meditation on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori
There is no means which can more surely kindle in us divine love than to consider the Passion of Jesus Christ.
St. Bonaventure says that the wounds of Jesus Christ, because they are wounds of love, are darts which wound hearts most hard, are flames which set on fire souls the most cold: ''O wounds, wounding stony hearts, and inflaming frozen minds!''
It is impossible that a soul which believes and thinks on the Passion of the Lord should offend Him and not love Him, nay, rather that it should not run into a holy madness of love, at seeing a God, as it were, mad for love of us: ''We have seen,'' says St. Laurence Justinian, ''Wisdom infatuated by too much love.''
Hence it is that the Gentiles, as the Apostle says, when hearing him preach the Passion of Jesus crucified, thought it a folly: ''We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews indeed a scandal, but to the Gentiles foolishness.'' How is it possible (said they) that a God, almighty and most happy, such as He Who is preached to us, could have been willing to die for His creatures?
Ah, God enamoured of men! How is it possible (let us say this who by faith believe that He really died for love of us), - how is it possible that a goodness so great, that such a love, should remain so badly corresponded to by men?
It is wont to be said that love is repaid with love; but Thy love - with what manner of love can it ever be repaid? It would be necessary that another God should die for Thee, to make recompense for the love which Thou hast borne towards us in dying for us.
O Cross, O Wounds, O Death of Jesus! You bind me closely to love Him.
O God, eternal and infinitely worthy of love, I love Thee, I desire to live only for Thee, only to please Thee; tell me what Thou willest of me, and I will wholly to do it.
Mary, my hope, pray to Jesus for me.
May God give us all many graces to help us love Him, with a holy Lent expressed through charity, prayer, penance, fasting and almsgiving.
St. Alphonsus de Liguori - pray for us!