Memorial of St. Alphonsus Ligouri, Bishop and Doctor
St. Alphonsus was a man with a keen sense of God’s generous love. He constantly stressed the importance of the love of God, saying in one sermon that “all holiness and perfection of soul lies in our love for Jesus Christ our God.” We become holy by uniting ourselves to God through love. And God nurtures this love in us through the various gifts we are given– God gives us not only the gift of existence, and “beautiful creatures,” but “the fullness of Himself.” God is the persistent admirer who will constantly give us gifts, including the gift of Himself, to spark our love for Him.
If we wish to truly grow in our love for God, holding on to that sense of gift is crucial. We said at the start of the week that our state of mind impacts whether we receive a gift well. Nothing can keep us from receiving well as much as thinking that a gift given freely is actually a debt being repaid. If we think that existence, or the beauty of creation, or even God Himself, as somthing that we deserve and should have by right, we will lose all sense of gift, all sense of wonder, and all sense of love. Through the intercession of St. Alphonsus, let us pray that we always think of all the things we have, including God Himself, as gifts from God, so that we may think of them with wonder and love for God.