Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday of the Second Week in Lent

On the Treason of Judas.


Judas was an avaricious, ungrateful, deceitful, and impious man. He was instigated by avarice to sell his divine Master. An avaricious man is ready to sell his soul and his God for silver. What ingratitude, to betray and deliver to his enemies, him from whom he had received so many blessings! What treachery, to betray him with a kiss! What impiety and sacrilege, to sell, for vile and filthy lucre, the most holy and sacred being on earth!


An inordinate love of money caused Judas the eternal loss of his soul. This passion stifled his faith, hope, and charity. It obscured bis spirit and debauched his heart. It destroyed all those sentiments of piety which had been imparted to him by the presence of Jesus, by his conversation, examples, miracles, and graces. Who will not tremble, when they remember that an Apostle became an apostate? Who will not fear, when they behold a pillar of the Church overthrown and dashed to pieces? Who will dare assure themselves of salvation, when they reflect that a man chosen by God himself was transformed into a demon, and precipitated into hell?

Presume not on your graces; Judas had received more than you have. Presume not on your inspirations; Judas was more enlightened than you. Presume not on your miracles; Judas wrought more than you have done. Presume not on your strength; Judas possessed a greater and more sensible protection than you do. Presume not on your election; Judas was chosen by God himself. Presume not on the signs of your predestination; those of Judas were more apparent than yours.


Judas was damned. Why? Because he allowed himself to be possessed of an infernal passion that he did not destroy it in its birth. He did not resist its first assaults. In the beginning he was guilty of little frauds and light infidelities which became great because he was envious of the blessings of others. He concealed his avarice with a veil of pretended charity. And finally, he did not conceive a true repentance for his sins, but abandoned himself to despair.

It is a dangerous thing to abandon one’s self to an evil passion! How our little sins should make us tremble! These light infidelities are formidable enemies, and throw us into great disorder! There are many Judases in the world, who every day betray Jesus with a kiss which they give him at the holy table! How often have you betrayed him? How many times have you not sold him to the devil for a little pleasure, a vile interest, an imaginary glory? Do not despair as he did, but reject the offered price. Return to Jesus’ sweet friendship and attach yourself more strongly to your divine Master who would, in his tender compassion, even have given his grace to Judas if he had acknowledged his sin and implored his forgiveness.

Resolution: I will make a good confession of all my sins, mortal and venial, before the end of the week.

Prayer: My Jesus, like Judas I have often sold thee, and for much less than thirty silver coins. I have sold thee for a few moments of pleasure or my own selfish desires. In selling thee I have also sold my own soul, a soul bought at the price of thy life. Thou hast purchased me for a price beyond worth and I have bartered thee for a price of no worth. I am sorry my Jesus. Nevermore will I be like Judas, but rather I will love thee above all things and value nothing more than thy love. Mary, my Mother and my Queen, teach me to love Jesus as thou didst love him.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

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