The New-born Child
In the cradle before us lies the new-born Infant wrapped in swaddling-clothes and laid in the manger. Let us contemplate Him for a few moments and see what lessons He teaches us.
1. He teaches us the unspeakable force of divine charity. How was it possible for the Eternal Word, the co-equal Son of God, to leave the bosom of His Father to clothe Himself with the flesh of sinful man? It seems an almost extravagant act of love, one unworthy of the dignity of God. Yet love puts everything aside except the burning desire to promote the welfare of the loved. The Son of God forgot all else in His divine compassion for us. How dearly He must love us! How great should be our confidence in His love!
2. He teaches us never to judge by appearances. If we had been told that God had come to dwell on earth, would not the stable of Bethlehem have been the last place where we should have sought Him? In how many a humble cottage there may still be found saints more dear to God than even those who have a worldwide repute for their holiness and virtue!
3. He teaches us the true dignity of self-abasement. God could not do anything unworthy of Himself when clad in human flesh. It therefore was no disparagement to the divine honor that He should thus infinitely condescend. Nay, it proved that the greatest possible likeness to God is attained by the most complete humiliation of self. How little I have learned to practice this lesson!
The Essential Happiness of Heaven
We shall see Him as He is. (1 St. John iii. 2.)
1. The one central source of heaven’s happiness will be the vision of God. We shall see Him face to face in all His divine beauty; everything will be swallowed up in the absorbing delight of gazing on the majesty of the Most High. If the lost in hell could see God for a single instant, hell would at once become heaven to them.
2. Why is this? Because in God are united every perfection and every beauty and every joy and every delight that exist or can exist, and all in an infinite degree. Every other joy is but a shadow as compared with the substance, a grain of dust compared with the loftiest mountains, a drop of water compared with the ocean. O my God, help me to despise the passing joys of earth when I think of the joy of seeing Thee!
3. The beatific vision will not convey the same degree of happiness to all who gaze upon it. It will depend upon our union with God on earth, on our faithfulness to grace, on our personal sanctity. One star differs from another star in glory. What folly, then, if we let slip any of the eternal reward for the sake of some perishable trifle or miss any opportunity of adding to our treasure of heavenly delight!
Pray that you may appreciate your heavenly treasure, and strive continually to add to it.
This article, The New-born Child & The Essential Happiness of Heaven – Christmas Meditation Day 2 (Dec 26) is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.