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The Love of God Shown in the Passion of Christ

 

Image of 19th c. French Holy Card (Translation): "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd attracts everything to Him through the chains of his love."

 

(Source: "Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 66-68, 1937 Imp.) 

 

First Saturday


THE LOVE OF GOD SHOWN IN THE PASSION OF CHRIST


God commendeth his charity towards us: because when 
as yet we were sinners, according to the time, Christ 
died for us. -Rom. v. 8, 9.

 


1. Christ died for the ungodly (ibid. 6) This is 
a great thing if we consider who it is that died, 
a great thing also if we consider on whose behalf 
he died. For scarce for a just man, will one die 
(ibid. 6), that is to say, that you will hardly find 
anyone who will die even to set free a man who 
is innocent, nay even it is said, The just perisheth, 
and no man layeth it to heart (Isaias Ivii).


Rightly therefore does St. Paul say scarce will 
one die. There might perhaps be found one, some 
one rare person who out of superabundance of 
courage would be so bold as to die for a good man. 
But this is rare, for the simple reason that so to 
act is the greatest of all things. Greater love than 
this no man hath, says Our Lord himself, that a man 
lay down his life for his friends (John xv. 13).


But the like of what Christ did himself, to die 
for evildoers and the wicked, has never been seen. 
Wherefore rightly do we ask in wonderment why 
Christ did it.


2. If in fact it be asked why Christ died for the 
wicked, the answer is that God in this way com- 
mendeth his charity towards us. He shows us in this 
way that He loves us with a love that knows no 
limits, for while we were as yet sinners Christ died for 
us.


The very death of Christ for us shows the love 
of God, for it was His son whom He gave to die 
that satisfaction might be made for us. God so 
loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son (John 
iii. 1 6). And thus as the love of God the Father 
for us is shown in his giving us His Holy Spirit, so 
also is it shown in this way, by his gift of his only 
Son.


The Apostle says God commendeth, signifying 
thereby that the love of God is a thing which 
cannot be measured. This is shown by the very 
fact of the matter, namely the fact that he gave 
His Son to die for us, and it is shown also by reason 
of the kind of people we are for whom He died. 
Christ was not stirred up to die for us by any merits 
of ours, when as yet we were sinners. God (who is rich 
in mercy) for his exceeding charity wherewith he loved us, 
even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together 
in Christ (Eph. ii. 4).


(In Rom. v.)


3. All these things are almost too much to be 
believed. A work is done in your days, which no 
man will believe when it shall be told (Habac. i. 5). 
This truth that Christ died for us is so hard a truth 
that scarcely can our intelligence take hold of it. 
Nay it is a truth that our intelligence could in no 
way discover, And St. Paul, preaching, makes 
echo to Habacuc, I work a work in your days, a work 
which you will not believe, if any man shall tell it to 
you (Acts xiii 14).


So great is God's love for us and his grace towards 
us, that he does more for us than we can believe 
or understand.


(In Symbolum.)

 

 

Blessed be St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles!

 

The Papal Restoration Staff

PapalRestoration.com

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