+Liguori: “Jesus died for us; we ought to live and die for Him” September 30, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, manhood, Saints, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori on the proper gratitude we should have for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all things, but especially in thankfulness for his Passion, death, and Resurrection. From The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, pp. 330-331:
Saint Augustine says that Jesus Christ, having first given His life for us, has bound us to give our life for Him; and, further, that when we go to the Eucharistic table to communicate, as we go to feed there upon the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, we ought also, in gratitude, to prepare for Him the offering of our blood and of our life, if there is need for us to give either of them for His glory.
Full of tenderness are the words of St. Francis de Sales on this text of St. Paul: The charity of Christ presseth us (II Cor v:14). To what does it press us? To love Him. But let us hear what St. Francis de Sales says: “When we know that Jesus has loved us even to death, and that the death of the Cross, is not this to feel our hearts constrained by a violence as great as it is full of delight?” And then he adds, “My Jesus gives Himself wholly to me, and I give myself wholly to Him; I will live and die upon His breast, and neither death nor life shall ever separate me from Him.” [How do we stay close to Jesus? By the practice of virtue and especially charity for God and for souls, but just as importantly, by accepting and practicing to the best of our ability ALL the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church. This latter part has been greatly forgotten over the past 50 years]
St. Peter, in order that we might remember to be ever grateful to our Savior, reminds us that we were not redeemed from the slavery of hell with gold or silver, but with the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, which He sacrificed for us, as an innocent Lamb, upon the altar of the Cross. Great, therefore, will be the punishment of those who are thankless for such a blessing, if they do not correspond to it. It is true that Jesus came to save all men who were lost (Lk xix:10); but it is also true what was said by the Venerable Simeon, when Mary presented the child Jesus in the temple: Behold, this child is placed for the fall and the rising again of many in Israel, and as a sign of contradiction which shall be spoken against (Lk ii:34). By the words for the rising again he expresses the salvation which all believers should receive from Jesus Christ, who by faith should rise from death to the life of Grace. But first, by the words he is set for the fall, he foretells that many shall fall into a greater ruin by their ingratitude to the Son of God, Who came into the world to become a contradiction to His enemies, as the following words imply: He shall be a sign which shall be spoken against; for Jesus Christ was set up as a sign, against which were hurled all the calumnies, the injuries, and the insults which the Jews devised against Him. And this sign is spoken against not only by the Jews of the present day, who deny Him to be the Messiah, but by those Christians who ungratefully return His love with offenses, and by neglecting His commands.
…….Wherefore, if we do not love Him, and obey His precepts, of which the first is that we should love Him, we are not only ungrateful, but unjust, and deserve a double punishment. The obligation of a slave rescued by Jesus Christ from the hands of the devil is to devote himself wholly to love and serve Him, whether he live or die.
Once again, the topic of mercy comes to mind. There are plainly efforts afoot from the highest authorities in the Church to propagate a false concept of mercy that puts Doctrine and justice in conflict with charity/mercy. As we see from the above, however, it is impossible to show proper gratitude for God if we do not accept All that He has told us, including those things which are deeply unpopular and countercultural today. At least, that’s how a great Saint, perhaps the greatest expert on moral doctrine in the history of the Church, viewed things. It is not that he was wrong, or overly zealous, nor that his exegesis is somehow dated and out of place, but that many have fallen under the dread influence of modernist indifferentism and general weakness of Faith. And for those, St. Alphonsus predicts a dire end, being among those Christians who return Christ’s love with offenses by neglecting His commands.
Not an enviable state. They definitely need many prayers.