Another beautiful meditation from St. Francis de Sales for our Lenten readings.
ABUNDANCE OF OUR REDEMPTION
God clearly foresaw that the first man would abuse his liberty, and that forsaking grace he would lose glory, but He did not wish to treat human nature so rigorously as He decreed to treat the angelic. It was of human nature He had determined to take a blessed piece, to unite it to His divinity. He saw that it was a feeble nature, a wind which passeth and returneth not, that is to say, which is dissipated as it goes.
He had regard to the surprise of the assault which the malicious and perverse Satan made on the first man, and to the greatness of the temptation which ruined him. He saw that the whole race of men would perish by the fault of a single one. For these reasons, He looked upon our nature in pity, and resolved to receive it to mercy. The devil had taken us away from our natural Lord, though he had no title to us, yet Our Lord redeemed us, redeemed what was His own, to make us more His own, if more His own we could be.
St. Paul says: “You are bought with a great price.” What is this price? He redeemed us with the blood of the Lamb; He pardoned not His own Son, but delivered Him to death for us. That the sweetness of His mercy might be adorned by the beauty of His justice, He resolved to save man by means of a rigorous redemption, which no one being able to make except His own Son, He appointed that He should redeem men, not merely by one of His loving actions, which would have been more than sufficient to redeem a thousand millions of worlds, but by all the innumerable loving actions and dolorous sufferings He would perform and endure even to death, and the death of the cross, to which He destined Him; wishing that thus He should become the companion of our miseries in order to make us the companions of His glory hereafter; showing in this manner the riches of His goodness by a redemption copious, abundant, magnificent, and excessive, which acquired, and, as it were, reconquered for us all the means necessary to attain to glory; so that no person can ever complain as if the divine mercy were wanting to him.
The least drop of Our Lord’s blood was of infinitely more value than we, and nevertheless, to make us more His own, He wished to shed it all. Who will doubt the abundance of our means of salvation, since we have so great a Saviour, in consideration of whom we have been created, and by the merits of whom we have been redeemed? For He died for all, because all were dead, and His mercy has been more salutary to redeem the race of man, than the misfortune of Adam was venomous to destroy. And so far from the sin of Adam having exceeded, it has, on the contrary, rather excited, the Divine Goodness, which, by a sweet and loving contention, being invigorated by the presence of its adversary, and massing, as it were, all its forces for victory, has made grace superabound where iniquity had abounded.
Thus, holy Church, in an excess of admiration, cries out on the eve of Easter: “O truly necessary sin of Adam, which has been blotted out by the death of Jesus Christ! O happy fault, which merited such and so great a Redeemer!”
Certainly we can say with one of the ancients: we were lost if we had not been lost; that is to say, our loss has been to our gain, since, in fact, human nature has received more graces by the redemption of its Saviour, than it would ever have received by the innocence of Adam, if he had persevered in it. Though the Divine Providence has left in man, along with the grace of its mercy, several striking marks of its severity, such as, for example, the necessity of death, the pains of sickness, the obligation of labor, the rebellion of sensuality, yet the celestial clemency, rising above these, takes pleasure in turning every misery to the greater advantage of those who love it, making patience spring up from labor, contempt of the world from the necessity of death, and a thousand victories from concupiscence; . . .
“The angels have more joy in Heaven,” says the Saviour, “for one sinner that does penance, than for ninety-nine just who need not penance.” And in like manner, the state of redemption is a hundred times better than that of innocence. Through the sprinkling of the blood of Our Lord, made with the hyssop of the cross, we have been restored to a whiteness incomparably more excellent than that of the snow of innocence: coming forth, like Naaman, from the river of salvation, purer and cleaner than if we had never been defiled, in order that the Divine Majesty might not be overcome by evil, but might overcome evil with good, and that His mercies might be exalted over all His works.
Saint Francis de Sales. The Saint Francis de Sales Collection [16 Books] (Kindle, Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Please, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!
† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† . Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
† . St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† . St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!