Given that grace builds on nature, my Neapolitan ancestry may, in some way, account for my spiritual affinity with Saint Alphonsus Maria Liguori. For the long lazy days and hot nights of August I recommend a a fascinating biography of the saint: Alphonsus de Liguori, Saint of Bourbon Naples, by Frederick M. Jones, C.Ss.R.
Reparation Then and Now
Meditate the following text written by Saint Alphonsus Maria, and translated by Norman J. Muckermann, C.Ss.R. It is astonishingly relevant to the need for reparation, when one considers the current proliferation of so many outrages against the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The Sorrowful Heart of Jesus
It is impossible for us to appreciate how greatly afflicted the Heart of Jesus was for love of us and at the same time not be filled with pity for Him. . . . The principal sorrow affecting the Heart of Jesus was not so much knowing the torments and insults His enemies were preparing for Him. Rather, it was seeing how ready we would be to reject His immense love.
Desecrations of the Sacred Host
Jesus distinctly saw all the sins which we would commit even after His sufferings, even after His bitter and ignominious death on the cross. He foresaw, too, the insults which sinners would offer His Sacred Heart which He would leave on earth in the Most Holy Sacrament as proof of His love. These insults are almost too horrible to mention: people trampling the sacred hosts underfoot, throwing them into gutters or piles of refuse, and even using them to worship the devil himself!
The Pledge of His Love
Even the knowledge that these and other defamations would happen did not prevent Jesus from giving us this great pledge of His love, the Holy Eucharist. Jesus has an infinite hatred for sin; yet it seems that His great love for us even overcomes this bitterness. Because of His love, He allows these sacrileges to happen in order not to deprive us of this Divine Food. Should not this alone suffice to make us love a Heart that has loved us so much?
Jesus Forsaken on the Altar
What more could Jesus do to deserve our love? Is our ingratitude so great that we will still leave Jesus forsaken on the altar, as so many are wont to do? Rather, should we not unite ourselves to those few who gather to praise Him and acknowledge His divine presence? Should we not melt with love, as do the candles which adorn the altars where the Holy Sacrament is preserved? There the Sacred Heart remains burning with love for us. Shall we not in turn burn with love for Jesus?