Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Bonds of Love

My sweet Lord, look with mercy upon your people and especially upon the mystical body of your Church.  Greater glory is given to your name for pardoning a multitude of your creatures than if I alone were pardoned for my great sins against your majesty.  It would be no consolation for me to enjoy your life if your holy peoples stood in death.  For I see that sin darkens the life of your bride the Church-my sins and the sins of others.
               It is a special grace I ask for, this pardon for the creatures you have made in your image and likeness.  When you created man, you were moved by love to make him in your own image.  Surely only love could so dignify your creatures.  But I know very well that man lost the dignity you gave him; he deserved to lose it, since he had committed sin.
               Moved by love and wishing to reconcile the human race to yourself, you gave us your only-begotten Son.  He became our mediator and our justice by taking on all our injustice and sin out of obedience to your will, eternal Father, just as you willed that he take on our human nature.  What an immeasurably profound love!  Your Son went down from the heights of his divinity to the depths of our humanity.  Can anyone’s heart remain closed and hardened after this?
               We image your divinity, but you image our humanity in that union of the two which you have worked in a man.  You have veiled the Godhead in a cloud, in the clay of our humanity.  Only your love could so dignify the flesh of Adam.  And so by reason of this immeasurable love I beg, with all the strength of my soul, that you freely extend your mercy to all your lowly creatures.  From a dialogue On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin.
               Saint Catherine prays the prayer we should be praying.  God grant us your mercy.  Grant your mercy on us and on your Church.  We sin, all of us.  None of us are worthy of your salvation.  And yet,
You died for all of us, all of us who sin.  Give us the grace to recognize our sin and the mercy of your forgiveness.  For the Church, for all those who attempt to follow in your footsteps, grant us your grace and mercy.  For all those who would accept your love if they had the will to believe, grant them grace and mercy to do so.  Amen.  kvs

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