Presence of God — Behold, I am at the feet of my Incarnate God, who has become a Child for love of me! I adore, I thank, I love!
God is charity: He has loved us with an everlasting love! “I think God must have said to Himself: Man does not love Me because he does not see Me; I will show Myself to him and thus make him love Me. God’s love for man was very great and had been great from all eternity, but this love had not yet become visible…. Then, it really appeared; the Son of God let Himself be seen as a tiny Babe in a stable, lying on a little straw” (St. Alphonsus). This is the mystery of the Nativity; this is St. Paul’s exultant cry: “The grace of God our Savior hath appeared to all men…. The goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared” (cf Titus 2:11-15 – 3:4-7). These are the blessed tidings “of great joy” brought by the Angel to the shepherds; “This day is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!” (cf Luke 2:1-14). The texts in today’s liturgy, following each other in tones of increasing exultation, sing the praises of the sweet Child Jesus, the Word made Man, living and breathing among us: “Whom have you seen, O shepherds? Speak and tell us who has appeared on earth? We saw the new-born Child and choirs of angels loudly praising the Lord” (Roman Breviary). “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth exult in the presence of the Lord!” (Roman Missal), Our God is here in the midst of us, He has become one of us. “A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us…. His name is Admirable, God, Prince of peace, Father of the world to come!… Rejoice, O daughter of Sion, sing, O daughter of Jerusalem…. Rejoice, ye inhabitants of the earth! Come, ye nations, adore the Lord!” (Roman Breviary). Come! Come, adore, listen, and rejoice! Jesus, the Word of the Father, speaks to us a wonderful word: God loves you!
“O all-powerful and eternal Trinity! O sweet, ineffable charity! Who would not be inflamed by such love? What heart could keep itself from being consumed by You?
“O abyss of charity! You have so closely bound Yourself to Your creatures that it seems that You cannot live without them! Nevertheless, You are our God! You have no need of us. Our good adds nothing to Your greatness, for You are immutable. Our misfortune cannot harm You, O God, sovereign, eternal Goodness! Then what urges You to such mercy? Love–for You have no obligation toward us and no need of us. Then, O infinite God, who brings You to me, a little creature? No one but Yourself, O Fire of Love! Love alone has always urged You, and love still urges You!
“O sovereign sweetness, You have deigned to unite Yourself to our bitterness; You, brilliance, with our darkness; You, wisdom, with our stupidity; You, life, with death; You, who are infinite, with us who are finite!” (St. Catherine of Siena).
O sweet Incarnate Word, O most amiable Infant Jesus, behold me at last at Your feet; let me contemplate You; permit me to delight in Your beauty, Your goodness, Your immense charity! In this little Child who smiles, and holds out His baby arms to me, I find Your infinite love, living, breathing–for this Babe is You, O my God! How can I ever thank You for Your exceeding love? How can I ever make You a return of love?
“You, who are so great and rich, have made Yourself little and poor for us! You chose to be born far from home, in a stable, to be wrapped in swaddling clothes, to be nourished at Your Virgin Mother’s breast, to be laid in a manger between an ox and an ass. Today is the dawn of the new redemption, of the old restoration, of eternal happiness; today, the heavens have distilled honey throughout the whole world! Then, O my soul, kiss this divine manger, press your lips to the Infant’s feet and embrace them. Meditate on the shepherds watching their flocks, contemplate the angelic hosts, prepare to join in the heavenly melody, singing with your lips and with your heart: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will’” (St. Bonaventure)!
Note from Dan: This post on the Nativity of Our Lord 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 for this post on the Nativity of Our Lord: Nativity, Lorenzo Lotto, 1523, PD-US, Restored Traditions, used with permission. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.