MEDITATION FOR THE SECOND FRIDAY OF JANUARY
(taken from “The Devotion to the Sacred Heart” by Fr. John Croiset, S.J)
“If I had not done among them the works which no other man hath done, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.” (John 15:24).
Consider, that even if the Jews had not been convinced by the testimony of the prophets, as they should have been, that Jesus Christ was the Messias, the miracles which He wrought, His admirable virtues, His indefatigable zeal for their salvation, His great meekness and especially the prodigious benefits which He lavished on this people in favour of whom He performed so many miracles, should have been more than sufficient to gain hearts of all who knew Him.
But, alas! All this had quite the contrary effect. Jesus Christ was persecuted, hated, treated with greater indignity than if He had been the greatest criminal. Perhaps they had forgotten His benefits and His miracles? By no means: they remembered them, they spoke of them; they made His very benefits and miracles a crime, and He was treated with indignity by the Jews precisely because He loved them too much and was too liberal in their favour. Imagine then, if possible, what must have been the sentiments of Jesus Christ, what the affliction of His Sacred Heart at the sight of such black ingratitude!
But consider what must be now His thoughts at seeing Himself treated every day with such indignity in the Blessed Eucharist even by Catholics, although He instituted the Blessed Eucharist to satisfy His ardent love for these same Catholics. Even if Jesus Christ had not wrought this miracle, even if He had not loved us to this excess, would that be any reason for Catholics not loving Him? Ungrateful Catholics, has this loving Saviour not done enough to merit your love? And if His extreme love has induced Him to do what seems to us too much, must this excess of love make us not love Him, nay, even despise Him? And has not this happened since the institution of this adorable Mystery? Are not the words of the Prophets, who said: “He shall be filled with reproaches,” “despised and most abject of men,” fulfilled in our days in the treatment which He receives in the Blessed Sacrament? The ingratitude and impiety of the Jews excite in us just indignation against this unhappy people. We see, however this impiety of the Jews excite in us just indignation against this unhappy people. We see, however, this impiety and ingratitude incessantly renewed in the indignities to which His love exposes Jesus Christ daily in the Blessed Sacrament, and are we never touched by it?
Hitherto, O my Saviour, I have been ungrateful to Thee. I have replied to Thy bountiful favours by coldness and neglect; but do Thou continue to show Thy mercy in spite of my infidelity. Grant me either to die of sorrow or to live in continual regret for having so little loved God who has loved me to excess, and who gives me continually in the Eucharist the most extraordinary proof of the greatest love that ever existed.
I will henceforth love Thee, O my Saviour, and will eagerly render Thee love and homage in the Blessed Sacrament. I will begin to give proof of my love by my modesty and respect in Thy divine Presence, by my ardent devotion to Thy Sacred Heat, and by my eager desire to repair, as far as is in my power, the outrages that have been offered to Thee, and which, alas! are still offered to Thee daily in the Sacrament of Thy love; grant that these dispositions may continue until my death.
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