St. Bonaventure says the Wounds of Jesus wound the stoniest hearts and inflame the coldest souls. The charity of Christ presseth us. And yet men do not love Thee, O my Redeemer, because they live unmindful of the death Thou hast suffered for them.
St. Bonaventure says that the Wounds of Jesus wound the stoniest hearts and inflame the coldest souls. And in truth, how can we believe that God permitted Himself to be buffeted, scourged, crowned with thorns, and finally put to death for the love of us, and yet not love Him? St. Francis of Assisi frequently bewailed the ingratitude of men as he passed along the country, saying: “Love is not loved! Love is not loved!”
Behold, O my Jesus, I am one of those who are thus ungrateful, who have been so many years in the world and have not loved Thee. And shall I, my Redeemer, remain forever such? No, I will love Thee until death, and will give myself wholly to Thee; mercifully accept of me and help me.
The Church, when she shows us Jesus Christ crucified, exclaims: “His whole figure breathes forth love; His head bowed down, His arms extended, His side opened.” She cries out: Behold, O man! Behold thy God Who has died for thy love; see how His arms are extended to embrace thee, His head bowed down to give thee the kiss of peace, His side opened to give thee access to His Heart, if thou wilt but love Him!
Assuredly I will love Thee, my Treasure, my Love, and my All. And whom shall I love, if I love not God Who has died for me?
The charity of Christ, says the Apostle, presseth us. (2 Cor. v. 14). Ah! my Redeemer, Thou hast died for the love of men; yet men do not love Thee, because they live unmindful of the death Thou hast suffered for them. Did they bear it in mind, how could they live without loving Thee? “Knowing,” says St. Francis de Sales, “that Jesus being really God has so loved us as to suffer the death of the Cross for us, do we not on this account feel our hearts, as it were, in a press, in which they are forcibly held, and love pressed from them by a kind of violence, which is the more powerful as it is the more amiable?” And this is what St. Paul says in these words: The charity of Christ presseth us; the love of Jesus Christ forces us to love Him.
Ah! my beloved Saviour, hitherto I have despised Thee, but now I esteem and love Thee more than my own life: nothing afflicts me so much as the remembrance of the many offences I have committed against Thee. Pardon me, O my Jesus, and draw my whole heart to Thyself that so I may not desire, or seek, or sigh after any other save Thee alone.
O Mary, my Mother, help me to love Jesus Christ.
(Palm Sunday Meditation – by St Alphonsus Liguori)