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Chapter 18

The Love of Christ

 

She never ceases to cultivate the vine of her soul,
and to root out the thorns of evil thoughts,
replacing them with the stones of virtues,
cemented together in the Blood of Christ crucified.
—St. Catherine of Siena

 

 

I have not come to condemn the world, but to save the world.” (John 12:47)  Jesus Christ came to save us from our sin and to give us a new life of spiritual freedom.  “This is my blood of the new covenant which will be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt. 26:28)  Our Savior loves us so much that he shed his blood for our freedom to receive and give love.

He begins to shed his blood for us in the Garden of Gethsemane when he prays, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” (Luke 22:42)  Scripture says, “his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.” (Luke 22:44)  He continued to shed his blood for us in sacrificial love throughout his Passion.  During the cruel scourging at the pillar, at the crowning with sharp thorns, as he carried the heavy cross upon his shoulder, when they pounded nails into his feet and hands, while he hung there three long hours on the cross, he continued to shed blood for the forgiveness of sins so that we could be forgiven and delivered from eternal damnation.  Right to the end, he shed his blood for our freedom, our lasting happiness, our eternal salvation.  When the soldier pierced his side with the lance out came blood and water from his sacred heart.  The heart represents love.  So, from the beginning to the end, from the agony in the Garden to the excruciating crucifixion, the Lord Jesus Christ showed us his love by shedding his blood as if to say, “See how I love you completely, totally, ineffably and infinitely down to the last drop of blood in my body!  Yes, I love you.  All I ask is that you love me in return.”  “Do this in memory of me. (Luke 22:19)  All that God wants, all that He asks for, is love.

 

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