FOR THE FIRST EIGHT DAYS
By St. Alphonsus de Liguori
The Love that God has manifested to us in the Incarnation of the Word.
Et Verbum caro factum est.
"And the Word was made flesh." --John 1:14
God has created us to love Him in this life, and afterwards to enjoy Him in the next; but we ungratefully rebelled against God by sinning, and refused to obey Him, and therefore we have been deprived of divine grace, and excluded from paradise, and besides condemned to the eternal pains of hell. Behold us, therefore, all lost; but this God, moved by compassion for us, resolved to send on earth a Redeemer, who should repair our great ruin.
But who shall this Redeemer be? Shall it be an angel, or a seraph? No; to show us the immense love that He bears us, God sends us His own Son: "God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh." (Rom. 8:3) He sent His only-begotten Son to clothe Himself with the same flesh as we sinners, but without the stain of sin; and He willed that by His sufferings and His death He should satisfy the divine justice for our crimes, and should thus deliver us from eternal death, and render us worthy of divine grace and eternal glory.
I thank Thee, O my God, on behalf of all mankind; for, if Thou hadst not thought of saving us, I and all the world would have been lost forever.
I beseech Thee, my Saviour, make me know how much Thou hast loved me, in order that, at the sight of Thy loving-kindness, I may discover my own ingratitude. Thou hast delivered me by Thy death from perdition; and I, ungrateful that I am, have turned my back upon Thee, to ruin myself again! I repent with all my heart of having done Thee this great injury. O my Saviour! forgive me and save me in future from sin; do not suffer me again to lose Thy grace. I love Thee, O my dear Jesus; Thou art my hope and my love! O Mary, Mother of this great Son, recommend to Him my soul!