28 June 2023

Bishop Challoner's Meditations - June 28th


Consider first, that monstrous ingratitude that is found in sin. God is our first beginning and our last end; he has given us our whole being out of pure love, having no need at all of us; he has made us and made us for himself; he has thought of us from all eternity; he has loved us from all eternity, and has prepared for us a happy eternity in the enjoyment of himself. In the meantime he is ever loading us with his benefits; his eyes are always upon us; he preserves us from innumerable evils; all his other works are appointed to serve us; his very angels, by his orders, wait upon us; his own Son came down from heaven to redeem us. O reflect, my soul, on the particular obligations thou hast to his divine goodness! How he preserved thee in thy mother's womb, and brought thee safe to the water of baptism, where he washed thee from sin, made thee his child, and heir to his kingdom; how he gave thee an early knowledge of himself and of his heavenly truths; how he favoured thee with many graces, and opportunities of good beyond thousands; how often he has admitted thee to his sacraments; how he has borne with thy repeated provocations and treasons for so many years, and notwithstanding all thy unworthiness and ingratitude, has been still thy constant benefactor. Alas! how many are now howling and burning in hell or the like sins to those thou hast so often committed, and how mercifully has he all this while dealt with thee! O detest then this sinful life thou hast hitherto led and all thy past ingratitude, and now, at least, with thy whole heart return to thy God.

Consider 2ndly, my soul, what thy sins have cost thy dear redeemer, the innocent Lamb of God. His whole life was a continual suffering, but what dreadful torments did he endure for thee in his passion and death! Call over in your mind the particulars of his sufferings, (which we have seen elsewhere,) from his agony and bloody sweat even to his expiring upon the cross, and learn from that multitude and variety of torments, willingly endured for thy sins, how much he abhors sin, and how much he loves thee. For he had thee in his heart all this while, and for thee he was weeping and praying, bleeding and dying, to teach thee to return love for love, and to detest thy sins which have crucified thy God. See then what motives thou hast for contrition, for the remembrance of the passion of thy Saviour.

Consider 3rdly, the innumerable motives we have to love God, and consequently to detest our sins as infinitely opposite to his divine goodness. He is infinitely good in himself, infinitely beautiful and charming, the overflowing ocean of all goodness and beauty, ravishing all that are so happy as to see him, so that they can never cease to love him> His mercy, his bounty, his wisdom, his truth are infinitely charming - all perfections are infinite in him. No tongue can express, no heart an conceive, the incomprehensible greatness and multitude of his attractions. All created beauty and perfection quite disappear and dwindle away to a pure nothing when compared with him. He is infinitely good to us - the happiness of heaven consists in seeing, loving, and enjoying him. All our good is from him and in him; he is our sovereign and universal good; the being of our being, the life and the light of our souls. He is our maker, our redeemer, our father, our friend, our spouse, our God, and our all. To love him is our greatest honour, our greatest interest, our greatest pleasure; it is the source of all our happiness, both here and hereafter. All these reasons oblige us to love God; all these motives strongly call upon us to detest and to repent of our sins, because by them we have offended so good a God.

Conclude , if thou wouldst secure to thy soul the remission of thy sins, to seek it by a repentance and contrition enlivened by love. Remember what our Lord said of that glorious penitent, (St. Luke vii. 47,) 'Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much.' Go thou,, in like manner, to the feet of thy Saviour with penitential tears proceeding from love, and he will pronounce the like sentence in thy favour.

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