THIRD TUESDAY OF ADVENT
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Jesus the Charitable Physician of our Souls.
Orietur vobis . . . Sol justitiae et sanitas in pennis ejus.
But unto you the sun of justice shall arise, and health in his wings. Mal. 4: 2
Your physician will come, says the prophet, to cure the infirm; and he will come swiftly like the bird that flies, and like the sun, which on rising from the horizon, instantly sends its light to the other pole. But behold him, he is already come. Let us console ourselves, and return thanks to him.
St. Augustine says, He descends to the bed of the sick; that is to say, even to taking upon him our flesh, for our bodies are the beds of our infirm souls. Other physicians, if they love their patients, do indeed use all their efforts to cure them; but what physician, in order to cure the sick man, ever took upon himself his disease? Jesus Christ has been that physician, who charged himself with our infirmities in order to cure them. Neither would he content himself with sending another in his place, but he chose to come himself to fulfil this charitable office, in order to gain to himself all our love: He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows. He chose to heal our wounds with his own blood, and by his death to deliver us from eternal death, which we had deserved; in short, he chose to swallow the bitter draught of a life of continual sufferings and a painful death, to obtain for us life, and deliver us from our many evils. The chalice which My Father hath given why shall I not drink it? said he to St. Peter. It was necessary, then, that Jesus Christ should suffer so many ignominies to heal our pride; that he should embrace such a life of poverty to cure our covetousness; that he should be overwhelmed in a sea of troubles, and even die of pure sorrow, to cure our eagerness after sensual pleasures.
Affections and Prayers
May Thy charity, O my Redeemer! be forever praised and blessed. And what would become of my soul, thus infirm and afflicted with the many sores of my sins, if I had not Thee, my Jesus, who both art able and willing to heal me? O blood of my Saviour, I trust in thee; wash me and cure me. I repent, O my love, of having offended Thee. Thou hast led a life of such tribulations, and hast died so bitter a death to prove to me the love Thou dost bear me. I would fain show Thee how much I love Thee; but what can I do who am so miserable and weak? God of my soul! Thou art omnipotent; Thou canst heal me, and make me holy. Oh, kindle in me a great desire of pleasing Thee. I renounce all my pleasures to please Thee, my Redeemer, who dost deserve to be pleased at all costs. O sovereign Good! I esteem Thee and love Thee above every good; make me love Thee with all my heart, and always implore Thy love, I have hitherto offended Thee, and have not loved Thee, because I have not sought Thy love. I now beg of Thee this love, and the grace always to seek it. Oh, grant my prayer by the merits of Thy Passion. O Mary my Mother! thou art always prepared to hear the prayer of him that calls upon thee. Thou lovest him that loves thee. I love thee, my Queen; obtain for me the grace to love God, and I ask nothing more of thee.