Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori
13 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent
Jesus suffers during His whole life
“Consider that all the sufferings that Jesus endured in His life and death were all present to Him from the first moment of His life. Consider that even from His childhood, He began to offer them to fulfil His role as our Redeemer. What martyrdom did the loving heart of Jesus constantly endure in beholding all sins of humankind! Saint Thomas says that the sorrow which Jesus felt, at the knowledge of the injury dome to His Father and of the evil that sin would cause to the souls that He loved, surpassed the sorrow of all contrite sinners that ever existed.
St Margaret of Cortona, never ceased to shed tears for her sins. One day her confessor said to her, “no more tears, Margaret, it is enough, our Lord has already forgiven you,” “What”, answered the saint, “how can my tears and my sorrows suffice for the sins which my Jesus was afflicted all His life long?”
My beloved Redeemer, I thank You! I could die of sorrow when I think of how I have abused Your infinite goodness. Forgive me, my Love and come and take entire possession of my heart.”
“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and men of violence, take it by force.”
true Light and Creator of Light,
empty us today
of the many worldly distractions
that lead us from You.
The darkness of our heart
is our enemy and we are beleaguered.
Help us Lord, that faithfully
seeking all that is holy,
and begging Your grace,
we may ever live in the
splendour of Your presence.
“Saint Paul teaches: “Our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the unseen powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens,” (Eph 6:12). Like Joshua, let us set out to war, attacking the greatest city in the world, namely wickedness and let us throw down the arrogant walls of sin. Would you look around for which path to take, which battlefield to choose? No doubt you will find my words extraordinary; nevertheless, they are true – limit your quest to yourself alone. In you lies the combat you are going to engage, within yourself the structure of evil and sin to pull down, your enemy emerges from the depths of your heart. It is not I who say this but Christ. Listen to him: “From the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy” (Mt 15:19). Do you realise the power of this enemy force that advances against you from the depths of your heart? Those are our real enemies.”…Origen (c.185-253)