jesus, cross, carrying cross

The Graces from the Passion

By His death, Jesus Christ has obtained for us a fountain of grace to cleanse our souls from our offenses. Here, Saint Alphonsus Liguori reflects on this grace and the confidence we ought to have in our salvation.

Saint Leo declares that Jesus Christ, by His death, has brought us more good than the devil brought us evil in the sin of Adam: “We have gained greater things through the grace of Christ than we had lost through the envy of the devil.” And this the Apostle distinctly says when writing to the Romans: Not as the offence, so also is the gift. . . . Where the offence abounded, grace did super-abound. Cardinal Hugh explains it: “The grace of Christ is of greater efficacy than is the offence.” There is no comparison, says the Apostle, between the sins of man and the gift which God has made us in giving us Jesus Christ; great as was the sin of Adam, much greater by far was the grace which Jesus Christ, by His passion, merited for us: I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am come into the world, the Savior protests, to the end that mankind, who were dead through sin, may receive through Me not only the life of grace but a life yet more abundant than that which they had lost by sin. Wherefore it is that Holy Church calls the sin happy which has merited to have such a Redeemer: “O happy fault, which deserved such and so great a Redeemer.”

Behold, God is my Savior, I will deal confidently, and will not fear. If, then, O my Jesus, You, who are an omnipotent God, are also my Savior, what fear shall I have of being damned? If, in time past, I have offended You, I repent of it with all my heart. From this time forth I wish to serve You, to obey You, and to love You. I firmly hope that You, my Redeemer, who have done and suffered so much for my salvation, will not deny me any grace that I shall need in order to be saved: “I will act with confidence, firmly hoping that nothing necessary to salvation will be denied me by Him who has done and suffered so much for my Salvation.”

You shall draw water from the fountains of the Savior, and you shall say in that day, Praise the Lord, and call upon His name. The wounds of Jesus Christ are now the blessed fountains from which we can draw forth all graces if we pray unto Him with faith: And a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord, and shall water the torrent of thorns. The death of Jesus, says Isaiah, is precisely this promised fountain, which has bathed our souls in the water of grace and, from being thorns of sins, has, by His merits, transformed them into flowers and fruits of life eternal. He, the loving Redeemer, made Himself, as Saint Paul tells us, poor in this world in order that we, through the merit of His poverty, might become rich: For your sakes He became poor, that, through His poverty, you might be rich. By reason of sin we were ignorant, unjust, wicked, slaves of hell, but Jesus Christ, says the Apostle, by dying and making satisfaction for us, is by God made for us Wisdom, Justice, Sanctification, and Redemption. That is to say, as Saint Bernard explains it, “Wisdom, in His preaching, justice in His absolving, sanctification in His conduct, redemption in His passion” He has made Himself our wisdom by instructing us, our justice by pardoning us, our sanctity by His example, and our redemption by His passion, delivering us from the hands of Lucifer. In short, as Saint Paul says, the merits of Jesus Christ have enriched us with all good things so that we no more want for anything in order to be able to receive all graces: In all things you are made rich . . . so that nothing is wanting to you in any grace.

This article is taken from a chapter in The Road to Calvary: Daily Meditations for Lent and Easter by Saint Alphonsus Liguori which is available from TAN Books



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