1. The love which God bears our souls is eternal and infinite. I have loved thee with an everlasting love [Jer 31:3]. So that God has from all eternity loved every human soul. . . . He sent his only Son into the world, made man for our sake, to die upon the cross for the salvation of our souls.
Thou, O God! hast indeed loved me from all eternity, and hast died for me, and how could I ever so grievously offend Thee?
2. The only begotten Son of God, for the love of our souls, came down from heaven to free them from eternal death by his own death upon the cross; and having redeemed them with his blood, he called his angels to rejoice with him for the recovery of his lost sheep: Rejoice with Me, because I have found the sheep that was lost [Luke 15:6].
Dearest Redeemer, Thou didst come to seek me, and how have I hitherto fled away from Thee. No, my Jesus! I will no more fly from Thee. I will love Thee; and oh! do Thou so bind me to Thee by Thy holy love that I may live and die in Thy sacred embraces.
3. The eternal Father has then given his Son, and the divine Son has given his precious blood and life for the salvation of my soul; and how often have I withdrawn myself from God and sold myself for something worse than nothing to his and my mortal enemy the devil!
Verily, my God! Thou hast spared nothing to save me from being lost, while I, for the sake of some paltry gratification, have many, many times renounced Thy friendship and love. Thou hast borne with me, that I might have time to bewail my sins and to love Thee, the God of my soul. I will therefore love Thee, my only good, and will grieve above every evil for having so often offended Thee. Oh! suffer me not to be anymore separated from Thy love. Remind me continually how much Thou hast done for my salvation, and how great has been the love which Thou hast shown me, that I may never cease to love Thee, my treasure, my life, and my all. Grant that I may ever love Thee, and then dispose of me as Thou pleasest. Mary, Mother of God, thy divine Son denies thee nothing; recommend to him, I beseech thee, my sinful soul.
Text from St. Alphonsus de Liguori, The Way of Salvation and Perfection, ed. Eugene Grimm, 2d ed. (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1886).