Called By Name

CONSIDER the love with which Jesus Christ Our Lord suffered so much in this world, particularly in the Garden of Olives, and on Mount Calvary. His love had you in view, and by a long series of pains and sufferings obtained from God the Father the good resolutions of your heart, and whatever else was necessary for you in order to nourish and strengthen them. O resolutions, how precious you are, since you are the fruit of the Passion of my Saviour! How much my soul ought to cherish you, since you are so dear to my Jesus! O Saviour of my soul, you would die in order to purchase these resolutions for me: grant that I may die rather than lose them!

Think well on it, faithful soul: it is certain that on the tree of the cross the Heart of our Lord Jesus beheld yours, and that He loved it, and by His love obtained for it all the favors which you have ever received, or will ever receive: among them, your good resolutions. Yes, pious soul, we can all say with Jeremias: “O Lord, before I existed Thou hadst regard to me, and didst call me by name.”

Ah, my God! How frequently we should put the query to our soul: Is it possible that I have been loved, and so tenderly loved by my Saviour, that He was pleased to think of me in particular, and in all those little occurrences by which He has drawn me to Him? How much should we appreciate them, and how carefully turn them to our profit! What is sweeter than this thought: the amiable Heart of my God thought of my soul, loved it, and procured a thousand means of salvation for it, as if He had no other soul to think of in the world? As the sun enlightening one portion of the earth, shines nothing less than if it did not shine there, so Our Lord thought of and labored for all His dear children in such a way, that He thought of every one of them as if He never had a thought of the others. “He loved me,” says St. Paul, “and delivered Himself for me;” as if to say: for me alone, and just the same as if He had done nothing for the rest of men. This consideration, faithful soul, should be engraven on your heart, to nourish and strengthen your resolutions, which are so dear to the Saviour.

God, then, is good to you; is it not true? But to whom is the supreme lover of hearts not good? Those who taste Him can never be satiated, and those who approach His Heart cannot refrain from praising and blessing Him forever. After having made these touching considerations, you ought often to repeat with heart and mouth the burning words of St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Catherine of Siena, and others: “No, I am no longer mine; whether I live or die, I belong to my Saviour.”

This article is taken from a chapter in Consoling Thoughts on God and Providence by St. Francis de Sales, which is available from TAN Books.



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