Darts of Fire: by St. Alphonsus Liguori
Dilexit nos, et tradidit semctipsum pro nobis.
“He hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us.” Ephes. v. 2
God had conferred so many blessings on men, thereby to draw them to love Him; but these ungrateful men not only did not love Him, but they would not even acknowledge Him as their Lord. Scarcely in one corner of the earth, in Judea, was He recognized as God by His chosen people; and by them He was more feared than loved. He, however, Who wished to be more loved than feared by us, became man like us, chose a poor, suffering, and obscure life, and a painful and ignominious death; and why? To draw our hearts to Himself. If Jesus Christ had not redeemed us, He would not have been less great or less happy than He has always been; but He determined to procure our salvation at the cost of many labors and sufferings, as if His happiness depended on ours. He might have redeemed us without suffering; but no…. He willed to free us from eternal death by His Own death; and though He was able to save us in a thousand ways, He chose the most humiliating and painful way of dying on the Cross of pure suffering, to purchase the love of us, ungrateful worms of the earth. And what indeed was the cause of His miserable birth and His most sorrowful death, if not the love He had for us?
Ah, my Jesus, may that love which made Thee die for me on Calvary destroy in me all earthly affections, and consume me in the fire which Thou art come to kindle on the earth. I curse a thousand times those shameful passions which cost Thee so much pain. I repent, my dear Redeemer, with all my heart for all the offences I have committed against Thee. For the future I will rather die than offend Thee; and I wish to do all that I can to please Thee. Thou hast spared nothing for my love; neither will I spare anything for Thy love. Thou hast loved me without reserve; I also without reserve will love Thee. I love Thee, my only good, my love, my all.