Thursday, December 02, 2010

Meditations for Advent I

First Sunday of Advent (By St Alphonsus de Liguori)

"And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost, and was made man" --Symbol. Const.

Consider that God, having created the first man, in order that he might serve him and love him in this life, and be conducted afterwards to reign with him forever in Paradise, enriched him for this end with knowledge and grace. But ungrateful man rebelled against God, refusing him the obedience which he owed him in justice and gratitude; and thus, miserable sinner, was he left with all his posterity as a rebel, deprived of divine grace, and forever excluded from paradise. Behold, then, after this ruin, caused by sin, all men lost! All were living in blindness, or in the darkness of the shadow of death. The devil had dominion over them, and hell destroyed innumerable victims amongst them.
But God, seeing men reduced to this miserable state, was moved with pity, and resolved to save them. And how? He did not send an angel, a seraph; but to show to the world the immense love that he bore to these ungrateful worms, He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom 8:3). He sent his own Son to become man, and to clothe himself with the same flesh as sinful men, in order that, by his suffering and death, he might satisfy the divine justice for their crimes, and thus deliver them from eternal death; and reconciling them with his divine Father, might obtain for them divine grace, and might render them worthy to enter into life eternal.
Consider, on the one hand, the immense ruin that sin brings upon souls, as it deprives them of the friendship of God and of Paradise and condemns them to an eternity of pain. And, on the other hand,  consider the infinite love which God showed in this great work of the incarnation of the Word, causing his only-begotten Son to sacrifice his divine life by the hands of executioners on a cross, in a sea of sorrows and of infamy, to obtain for us pardon and life eternal. Oh, in contemplating this great mystery and this excess of divine love, how can we do otherwise than exclaim: O infinite goodness! O infinite mercy!  O infinite love! for a God to become man, and to die for me!

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