SIX VOLUMES IN ONE BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada REV. STEPHEN KEENAN REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J. REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.
It is true, O Lord, that I am thus indebted to thee for having redeemed me; how great must the obligation be, for having redeemed me in such a manner ? For to redeem me thou hast suffered such torments, and such disgrace, as are above the reach of our imagination. Thou hast made thyself the scorn of men, and the contempt of the world, for the love of me. To procure me honor, thou hast dishonored thyself; and hast suffered thyself to be accused, that I might be acquitted. Thou hast shed thy blood, to wash away the stains of my guilt. Thou hast died, to raise me to life, and by thy tears hast delivered me from everlasting weeping and gnashing of teeth. How truly dost thou deserve the name of a kind Father, since thou hast had so tender a love for thy children ? How justly art thou called a good Shepherd, who hast given thyself for the nourishment of thy flock? How truly faithful a guardian art thou, since thou hast so freely laid down thy life for those whom thou hast taken into thy care ? What present shall I make thee, answerable to this? With what tears shall I return these tears? With what life shall I repay this life ? What proportion is there between the life of a man and the life of his God, between the tears of a creature and those of his Creator ?
But if, O man, thou shouldest perhaps imagine, that his suffering for everybody else, as well as for thee, has lessened thy obligation, thou deceivest thyself. For though he suffered for all mankind in general, it was in such a manner, that he suffered for each particular person. For his infinite wisdom gave him as clear and distinct a representation of all those for whom he underwent those torments, as if there had been but one single person ; and his immense charity, which made him take in all together, has done no less for each one in particular. So that he has shed his blood for every single man, as much as for all mankind together; and so great has been his mercy, that had there been but one sinner in the whole world, he would have suffered as much for him alone, as he has done now for all the world. Consider, therefore, how infinitely thou art obliged to this Lord, who has done so much for thee, and who would have done a great deal more, if there had been any need of it for procuring thy happiness.