Believing in Love
Presence of God – O most sweet Infant Jesus, permit me to enter into the abyss of Your infinite love, so that I may believe in it with all my strength.
When creating us, God loved us so much that He made us to His own image and likeness; when redeeming us, He loved us so much that He made Himself to our image! Christmas is pre-eminently the feast of love—the love which was revealed, not in the sufferings of the Cross, but in the lovableness of a little Child, our God, stretching out His arms to make us understand that He loves us.
If the consideration of God’s infinite justice can rouse us to greater fidelity in His service, how much more does the consideration of His infinite love incite us! St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus used to say, “Fear makes me shrink, while under love’s sweet rule I not only advance, I fly” (Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Story of a Soul, 8). Jesus, the divine Infant, is here in the midst of us, to replace the old law of fear with the new law of love.
To run in the path of God’s commandments, we must be thoroughly convinced of God’s infinite love for us, and precisely in order to reach this conviction, we immerse ourselves in contemplation of the mystery of the Nativity. In fact, when we see Jesus, the eternal Word, become a child for us, and from the very first moment of His earthly life, gladly taking on all our miseries, even to the point of having nothing but a manger for a cradle, with a little hay for bedding, and poor swaddling clothes for covering … Oh, we can no longer doubt His love. God loves us! Jesus loves us! Yes, let us repeat it again and again, “We have known and have believed the charity which God hath to us” (1 John 4:16). Lord, I believe in Your love for me! Lord, increase my faith!
Lord, I believe in Your love for me! How could I still doubt it?
“You have come down from the great height of Your divinity to the mire of our humanity, because the lowness of my intellect could neither understand nor behold such height. In order that my littleness might see Your greatness, You became a little child, concealing the greatness of Your Deity in the littleness of our humanity. And so You manifest Yourself to us in the Word, Your only-begotten Son; thus have I known You, O abyss of charity! O blush with shame, blind creature, so exalted and honored by your God, not to know that God, in His inestimable charity, came down from the height of His infinite Deity to the lowliness of your humanity! O inestimable love! What do you say, O my soul? I say to You, eternal Father, I beseech You, most benign God, that You give us and all Your servants a share in the fire of Your charity” (St. Catherine of Siena).
O God, how great is my need to know Your infinite love! To know in order to believe, to believe in order to love, to love in order to give myself entirely to You, with no reservation, just as You have given Yourself entirely to me.
O my God, how much I want to repay You for this inestimable gift! Alas! You who are all, have given me all, whereas I, who am nothing, can give You only this nothing! Yet how slow, indolent, and miserly I am in giving You this nothing, how much I try to spare myself, to give myself with measure, with prudence…. Oh, Your love knew no measure; it did not calculate the infinite distance between the Creator and the creature, but surpassed, exceeded, and engulfed this distance by uniting indissolubly human nature with the divine Person of the Word. How true it is that love knows no obstacles, overcomes everything, and adapts itself to everything in order to attain its end! O loving Infant Jesus, my God, my Savior, give me the grace of an ever-increasing understanding of the greatness and depth of Your love; make me penetrate this boundless abyss, whose bottom no creature can ever touch! The more I enter into it, the more I feel new strength born in me, a new impulse which urges me irresistibly to give myself wholly to you. You know how necessary it is for this strength to grow and become established in me, so as to make me truly generous, ready for every sacrifice, every gift of myself. O Lord, grant that I may understand Your infinite charity! Give me a firm faith in it, and never let me refuse anything to Your love: this is the gift I beg of You on the day of Your Nativity!
Note from Dan: This post on Believing in Love is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art: The Nativity, Domenico Ghirlandaio, circa 1492, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.