Monday, November 30, 2009

By St. Alphonsus de Liguori


Goodness of God the Father and of God the Son in the Work of the Redemption.

Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est.
"And became incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man." --Profession of Faith.

God created Adam, and enriched him with gifts; but man, ungrateful, offended Him by sinning and thus both he and all we, his descendants, remained deprived of divine grace and paradise. Thus, then, all mankind was lost and without a remedy. Man had offended God, and therefore was incapable of giving Him an adequate satisfaction; it was necessary then that a divine person should satisfy for man. What does the eternal Father to save lost man? He sent this same Son to become man, and clothe Himself with the same flesh as sinful men, in order that by His death He might pay their debts to divine justice, and thus obtain for them a restoration to divine grace.
O my God, if Thy infinite bounty had not discovered this remedy, who of us could ever have asked it, or even imagined it?

O God, what a subject of wonder must not this great love which God showed to rebellious man have been to the angels! What must they have said when they saw the eternal Word become man, and assume the same flesh as sinful man, insomuch as this Word incarnate appeared to the whole world in the form of a sinful man, as were all others. O my Jesus, how much do we not owe Thee, and how much more than others am I not indebted to Thee, who have offended Thee so much more than others! If Thou hast not come to save me, what would have become of me for all eternity? Who could have saved me from the pains that I deserve? Mayest Thou be ever blessed and praised for so great love!


Thus, then, the Son of God comes from heaven on earth, and becomes man; He comes to live a life of suffering; He comes to die upon the Cross for the love of man; and shall men who believe all this love any other object besides this incarnate God?
O Jesus my Saviour, I will love none other but Thee; Thou alone hast loved me. Thee alone will I love. I renounce all created goods; Thou alone art sufficient for me, O immense and infinite Good! If hitherto I have displeased Thee, I am now heartily sorry for it, and would wish that this sorrow might make me die, to compensate in some measure for the displeasure I have caused Thee. Oh, permit me not in future to be ever again ungrateful for the love Thou hast borne me. No, my Jesus, make me love Thee, and then treat me as Thou pleasest. O infinite Bounty, O infinite Love, I will only live henceforth to love Thee! O Mary, Mother of mercy, this one favor I ask of thee, obtain for me the grace of always, always loving God.

[From 'The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ.']