Taken from “The Mother of Our Saviour” by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange:
Deus Filium suum, mittens in similitudinem carnis peccati, et de peccate damnavit peccatum in carne.
“God sending His Own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, even of sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” –Rom. 8:3
Consider the humble state to which the Son of God chose to abase Himself; He not only vouchsafed to take upon Him the form of a servant, but that of a sinful servant: In the likeness of sinful flesh. Therefore St. Bernard writes: “He not only assumed the form of a servant, that He might be under subjection, but even that of a wicked servant, that He might be beaten.” He not only would assume the condition of a servant to be subject to others, He Who was Lord of all; but even the appearance of a criminal servant, to be punished as a malefactor, He who was the Saint of all Saints. For this end He clothed himself with the same flesh of Adam which had been infected by sin. And although he did not contract the stain of sin, nevertheless he took upon Himself all the miseries which human nature had contracted as a penalty for sin.
Our Redeemer, in order to obtain for us salvation, offered Himself voluntarily to His Father to make satisfaction for our sins: He was offered because it was His own will. And his Father loaded Him with all our crimes: He hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. And thus behold the Divine Word, innocent, most pure, and holy, behold Him even from His infancy charged with all the blasphemies, with all the unsightliness, with all the sacrileges, and with all the crimes of men; become for the love of us the object of the Divine malediction, on account of the sins for which He had bound Himself to satisfy the Divine justice. So that Jesus charged Himself with as many maledictions as there have ever been, or ever shall be, mortal sins committed by all mankind. And thus He presented himself to His Father, when He came into the world, even from His birth, as a criminal and a debtor, guilty of all our sins, and as such was condemned by His Father to die as a malefactor accursed on a Cross: And of sin hath condemned sin in the flesh.
Oh, if the eternal Father were capable of feeling sorrow, what anguish of mind would He not have felt at being obliged to treat as a criminal, and as the most villainous criminal in the world, this innocent Son, his beloved one, Who was worthy of all His love! Behold the Man, said Pilate, when he showed Him to the Jews covered with stripes, in order to move them to compassion towards this innocent one Who had been thus ill-treated. Behold the Man, the eternal Father seems to say to us all, showing Him to us in the stable of Bethlehem. This poor Child [He says] Whom you behold, laid on a manger for beasts, and stretched on straw, is my beloved Son, Who is come into the world to take upon Himself your sins and your sorrows; love Him, therefore, because He is infinitely worthy of your love, and you are under infinite obligations to love Him.
Affections and prayers
O my innocent Savior, mirror without spot, love of the eternal Father, chastisements and maledictions did not belong to Thee, but to me, a miserable sinner; but Thou wouldst show to the world the excess of love Thou didst bear us by sacrificing Thy life to obtain for us pardon and salvation, and paying by Thy sufferings the penalties which we had incurred by our sins. May all creatures praise and bless Thy mercy and Thy infinite bounty! I thank Thee on behalf of all men, but especially for myself; because as I have offended Thee more than others, so Thou hast hast suffered the pains which Thou didst endure more for me than for others. Accursed a thousand times be all those sinful pleasures which I have delighted in, and which have cost Thee so much sorrow! But since Thou hast paid the price of my ransom, I beseech Thee let not the blood which Thou has spilled for love of me be lost to me. I am sorry that I have despised Thee, O my love; but oh, grant me more sorrow; make me know the evil I have committed in offending Thee, my Redeemer and my God, Who hast suffered so much to oblige me to love Thee! I love Thee, O infinite Bounty, but I desire to love Thee more; I desire to love Thee as much as Thou deservest to be loved. O my Jesus, do Thou cause Thyself to be loved both by me and by all men; for Thou dost indeed deserve to be loved. I pray Thee, enlighten the minds of those sinners who will not know Thee or will not love Thee; make them understand what Thou hast done for the love of them, and the ardent desire Thou hast for their salvation. Most holy Mary, pray to Jesus for me, and for all sinners; obtain for us light and grace to love thy Son, Who has loved us so much.