God's Gift of Himself
It was for this reason that great lover of Jesus Christ, St. Paul, had to explain: "The love of Christ presses us." (11 Cor.,5, 14). The Apostle wants to tell us that not only the fact, that Jesus Christ had suffered; but still more the love, which He had shown in suffering for us, oblige and even compel us to give our love to Him. Let us listen to what St. Francis de Sales has to say on that text: "When we know that Jesus, the true God, has loved us so as to suffer death for us - and the death of the cross - does it not come to this: that our heart has been placed under a press, and it feels itself forced to pour fourth its love by a violence that is as strong as it is alluring? Ah, why do we not, therefore, cast ourselves on Jesus Crucified - to die on the cross, on which He has willed to die for love of us? I will hold Him, we should say, and I will never let Him go again. I will die with Him, and I will burn in the flame of His Love. One and the same fire will consume this divine Creator and His worthless creature. My Jesus gives Himself all to me, and shall not I give myself all to Him? I will live and I will die on His bosom. Neither death, nor life, will separate me ever again from Him. O Eternal Love, my soul is seeking for you, and it chooses you for ever. O come, Holy Spirit, and inflame our hearts with your love. Oh! to love! Oh! to die! O Saviour of our souls, let me sing through eternity: Live Jesus, whom I love; I love Jesus who lives for ever and ever!"