Monday, January 12, 2009

The Seventh Day in the Octave of the Epiphany

MEDITATION VII: The Same Subject continued.

St. Luke, speaking of the residence of the Infant Jesus in the house at Nazareth, writes: And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age, and grace with God and men (Luke 2:52). As Jesus grew in age, so did he increase in wisdom: not that he went on every year acquiring a greater knowledge of things, as is the case with us; for, from the first moment of his life, Jesus was full of all divine knowledge and wisdom: In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3); but it is said that he advanced, because every day as he advanced in age he manifested more and more his sublime wisdom.

Thus it is also said that he advanced in grace with God and men; with God, because all his divine actions, though they did not render him more holy or increase his merit, since Jesus was from the first full of sanctity and merit, of whose fulness we have received all graces: of his fulness we have all received (John 1:16); yet, nevertheless, these operations of the Redeemer were all sufficient in themselves to increase his grace and merit.

He advanced also in grace with men, increasing in beauty and amiability. Oh, how Jesus showed himself more and more amiable every day of his youth, showing more and more every day the claims he had upon men’s love! With what delight did the holy youth obey Mary and Joseph! With what recollection of mind did he work! With what moderation did he take his food! With what modesty did he speak! With what sweet ness and affability did he converse with all! With what devotion did he pray! In a word, every action, every word, every motion of Jesus, inflamed with love the hearts of all those who beheld him, and especially of Mary and of Joseph, who had the good fortune to see him always at their side. Oh, how these holy spouses remained always intent on contemplating and admiring all the operations, the words, and gestures of this Man-God!

Affections and Prayers.

Grow, my beloved Jesus, grow continually for me. Grow to teach me your virtues by your divine examples. Grow to consummate the great sacrifice on the cross, on which depends my eternal salvation! Grant also, my Savior, that I too may grow more in your love and grace. Miserable that I have been, I have hitherto only increased in ingratitude towards you who has loved me so much. O my Jesus, grant that in future it may be just the contrary with me. You know all my weakness, it is from you that I must receive light and strength. Make me know the claims which you have to my love. You are a God of infinite beauty and of infinite majesty, who did not refuse to come down upon this earth and become man for us, and for our sakes to lead an abject and painful life, and to end it by a most cruel death. And where can we ever find an object more amiable and more worthy of love than you? Fool that I was, in times past I refused to know you, and therefore I have lost you. I implore your pardon; I am heartily sorry, and I am determined to be entirely devoted to you in future. Assist me. Remind me constantly of the life of suffering and the bitter death you endured for the love of me. Give me life and give me strength. When the devil presents to me forbidden fruit, grant me strength to despise it, and let me not for some vile and momentary good risk losing you, O infinite Good. I love you, my Jesus, who died for me. I love you, infinite Goodness. I love you, O Beloved of my soul.

O Mary, you are rny hope. Through your intercession I hope to obtain grace to love my God from this time forth and forever, and never to love any but God.

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