Friday, April 6, 2012

Meditating on Good Friday with St. Francis de Sales

But could God not have provided the world with a remedy other than that of His Son's death? Certainly, He could have done so, and by a thousand other means. Could He not have pardoned human nature with absolute power and pure mercy, not invoking justice or the intervention of any creature? Doubtless He could, and who would have dared to question or criticize Him? No one, for He is Sovereign Master and can do all He wills. Besides, if He had wanted some creature to undertake our redemption, could He not have created one of such excellence and dignity that, by its deeds or sufferings, it could have satisfied for all our sins? Assuredly, and He could have redeemed us in a thousand other ways than that of His Son's death. But He did not will to do so, for what may have been sufficient for our salvation was not sufficient for His love; and to show us how much He loved us, this divine Son died the cruelest and most ignominious of deaths, that of the Cross.

The implication in all this is clear: since He died of love for us, we also should die of love for Him; or, if we cannot die of love, at least we should live for Him alone. [2 Cor:5:14-15]. If we do not love Him and live for Him, we shall be the most disloyal, unfaithful and wretched creatures imaginable. Such disloyalty is what the great St. Augustine complained about. "O Lord," he said, "is it possible for man to know that You died for him and for him not to live for You?" And that great lover, St. Francis, sobbed, “Ah! You have died of love and no one loves You!"

    He died, then. But although He died for us and was lifted up on the Cross, those who refuse to look upon Him will surely die, for there is no other redemption but in this Cross. O God, how spiritually beneficial and profitable is a consideration of Your Cross and Passion! Can we contemplate our Savior's humility on the Cross without becoming humble and having some affection for humiliations? Can we see His obedience without being obedient? Certainly not! No one has ever looked upon Our Lord crucified and remained dead or sick. On the other hand, all who have died have done so because they were unwilling to gaze upon Him, just as the Israelites died who were unwilling to gaze upon the serpent that Moses had raised upon the pole.
(Taken from Saint Francis de Sales' Lenten Sermons)

No comments: