The Passion of Christ

The Sight of Our Sins Afflicted Jesus
from the First Moment of His Life

Dolor meus in conspectu meo semper.
"My sorrow is continually before me."---Ps. xxxvii. 18.

All the afflictions and ignominies which Jesus Christ suffered in life and death, all were present to His mind from the first moment of His life. And He offered them all every moment of His life in satisfaction for our sins. Our Lord revealed to one of His servants that every sin of men gave Him during His life so much sorrow that it would have sufficed to cause His death, if His life had not been preserved in order that He might suffer more. Behold, O my Jesus! what gratitude hast Thou received from men, and especially from me. Thou hast spent thirty-three years of life for my salvation, and I have done as much as I could, as far as it depended on me, to make Thee die with sorrow, as often as I have committed sin.

St. Bernardine of Siena writes that Jesus Christ "had a particular regard to every single sin." [---T. ii. s. 56, a. I, c. 1.] Each of our sins was present continually to our Saviour, even from His infancy, and afflicted Him grievously. St. Thomas adds [P. 3, q. 46, a. 6.] that this one sorrow of knowing all the injury which resulted to the Father from every sin, and all the evil which it occasioned to us, surpassed the sorrow of all the contrite sinners that ever were, even of those who died of pure contrition; because no sinner ever arrived at loving God and his own soul as Jesus Christ has loved the Father and our souls.

Therefore, my Jesus, if no man ever loved me more than Thou hast done, it is only just that I should love Thee above all men. Since, then, I can say that Thou alone hast really loved me, so will I love Thee alone.

That agony which Jesus suffered in the garden at the sight of our sins, for which He had taken upon Himself to satisfy, He suffered from the time He was conceived in His mother's womb. If, therefore, Jesus Christ passed a life full of tribulations for no other reason than on account of our sins, we ought not, during our life, to afflict ourselves for any other evils than for the sins which we have committed.

My beloved Redeemer, I could wish to die of sorrow at the thought of all the bitterness that I have caused Thee during my life. My Love, if Thou lovest me, give me such a sorrow as may take away my life, and so obtain for me Thy pardon, and the grace to love Thee with all my strength. I give Thee my whole heart; and if I do not know how to give it to Thee entirely, oh, do Thou take it Thyself, and inflame it with Thy holy love. O Mary, advocate of the wretched, I recommend myself to thee.

St. Alphonsus Liguori
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1927
Redemptorist Fathers

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