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CHAPTER XII.

A MOST USEFUL METHOD OF EMPLOYING THESE MOTIVES.

Now to receive from these motives a profound and strong heat of love, it is necessary,  1°, that after having considered one of them in a general way, we apply it in particular to ourselves. For example: O how amiable this great God is, who out of his infinite goodness gave his son for the whole world's redemption! Yes, indeed for all in general, but in particular for me, who am the first of sinners.6026021 Tim. i. 15. Ah! he hath loved me, yea, I say, he hath loved even me, even me myself, such as I am, and delivered himself to his Passion for me.603603Gal. ii. 20.

2°. We must consider the Divine benefits in their first and eternal source. O God! Theotimus, what love can we have sufficiently worthy of the infinite goodness of our Creator, who from all eternity determined to create, preserve, govern, redeem, save and glorify all in general and each in particular? Ah! what was I then when I was not? What was I? who now being something am yet but a simple and poor worm of the earth? And still God from the abyss of his eternity thought thoughts of benediction in my behalf? He considered and 553designed, yea determined, the hour of my birth, of my baptism, of all the inspirations that he would bestow upon me; in a word, all the benefits he would do and offer me. Ah! is there a sweetness like unto this sweetness?

3°. We must consider the Divine benefits in their second and meritorious source; for do you not know, Theotimus, that the High Priest of the Law wore upon his back, and upon his bosom, the names of the children of Israel, that is, the precious stones upon which the names of the chiefs of Israel were engraven? Ah! behold Jesus our chief bishop, and see how, from the instant of his conception, he bore us upon his shoulders, undertaking the charge of redeeming us by his death, even the death of the cross. O Theotimus, Theotimus, this soul of Our Saviour knew us all by name and by surname; but above all in the day of his Passion, when he offered his tears, his prayers, his blood and his life for all, he breathed in particular for thee these thoughts of love: Ah! my eternal Father, I take to myself and charge myself with all poor Theotimus's sins, to undergo torments and death that he may be freed from them, and that he may not perish but live. Let me die, so he may live; let me be crucified so he may be glorified. O sovereign love of the Heart of Jesus, what heart can ever bless thee as devotedly as it ought!

Thus within his maternal breast his divine heart foresaw, disposed, merited and obtained all the benefits we have, not only in general for all, but also in particular for each one, and his breasts of sweetness provided for us the milk of his influences, his attractions, his inspirations, and the sweetnesses by which he draws, conducts and nourishes our hearts to eternal life. Benefits do not inflame us unless we behold the eternal will which destines them for us, and the Heart of Our Saviour who has merited them for us by so many pains, especially in his death and passion.

 


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