Rorate Caeli

Love never says "Enough"

Josquin des Prez
Veni Sancte Spiritus


God ordained in the old law that fire should be kept continually burning upon his altar: "The fire on the altar shall always burn." (Lev. vi, 12). St. Gregory says that the altars of God are our hearts, in which he desires that the fire of his love should always burn. And hence the Eternal Father, not satisfied with having given us his Son Jesus Christ, to save us by his death, would also give us the Holy Ghost, to dwell in our hearts, and keep them continually inflamed with his love. And Jesus himself declared, that it was in order to influence our hearts with this holy love that he came into the world, and that he desired nothing more than to see it kindled: "I am come to send fire upon the earth: and what will I but that it be kindled?" (St. Luke, xii. 49). Hence, forgetting the injuries and ingratitude he received from men in this world, when he had ascended into heaven, he sent down upon us the Holy Ghost.

O most loving Redemer, dost thou then love us not only in thy sufferings and ignominies but also in thy heavenly glory? Hence it was that the Holy Ghost chose to appear in the form of fiery tongues: And there appeared to them parted tongues, as it were of fire (Cf. Acts, ii. 3). And hence the Church instructs us to pray: "May the Holy Ghost, we beseech thee, O Lord, inflame us with that fire which our Lord Jesus Christ came to cast upon the earth, and which he ardently desired should be enkindled." This was the holy fire which has inspired the saints to do such great things for God, to love their enemies, to desire contempt, to renounce all worldly goods, and to embrace with cheerfulness, even torments and death.

Love cannot remain idle, and never says: "It is enough." The soul that loves God, the more she does for her beloved, desires the more to do for him, in order to please him the more, and to draw down his love all the more. This holy love is enkindled in mental prayer: "In my meditation a fire shall flame out." (Ps. xxxviii, 4). If therefore we desire to be on fire with the love of God, we must delight in prayer; this is the blessed furnace in which this divine ardor is enkindled.

Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori