The Greatest Sorrow of Jesus
Incarnation, Birth and Infancy
of Jesus, St. Alphonsus Liguori
with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur
Quæ utilitas in sanguine meo, dum descendo in corruptionem?
"What profit is there in My Blood, whilst I go down to corruption?"-----Ps. 29:10<> Jesus Christ revealed to the Venerable Agatha of the Cross that whilst He was in his Mother's womb, that which afflicted Him more than any other sorrow was the hardness of the hearts of men, who should, after His Redemption, despise the graces which He came into the world to diffuse. And He had expressed this sentiment before, by the mouth of David, in the words just quoted, which are generally thus understood by the holy Fathers: What profit is there in My blood, whilst I go down to corruption? St. Isidore explains whilst I descend into corruption, "whilst I descend to take the nature of man, so corrupted by vices and sins;" as if He had said, "O my Father, I am indeed going to clothe Myself with human flesh, in order to shed My Blood for men; but what profit is there in My Blood?-----the greater part of the world will set no value on My Blood, and will go on offending Me, as if I had done nothing for the love of them."
Affections and PrayersO my most amiable Jesus, how much have I too caused Thee to suffer during Thy lifetime! Thou hast shed Thy blood for me with so much sorrow and love, and what fruit hast Thou hitherto drawn from me but contempt, offenses, and insults? But, my Redeemer, I will no longer afflict Thee; I hope that in the future Thy Passion will produce fruit in me by Thy grace, which I feel is already assisting me. I will love Thee above every other good; and to please Thee, I am ready to give my life a thousand times. Eternal Father, I should not have the boldness to appear before Thee to implore either pardon or graces, but Thy Son has told me, that whatever grace I ask of Thee in His name Thou wilt grant it to me: If ye shall ask anything of the Father in My name, He will give it to ye. [John 16:23] I offer Thee, therefore, the merits of Jesus Christ, and in His name I ask of Thee first a general pardon of all my sins; I ask holy perseverance even unto death; I ask of Thee, above all, the gift of Thy holy love. that it may make me always live according to Thy Divine will. As to my own will, I am resolved to choose a thousand deaths sooner than offend Thee, and to love Thee with my whole heart, and to do everything that I possibly can to please Thee. But in order to do all this, I beg of Thee, and hope to receive from Thee, grace to execute what I purpose. My Mother Mary, if thou wilt pray for me, I am safe. Oh, pray for me, pray; and cease not to pray till thou seest that I am changed, and made what God wishes me to be.