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Christmas Meditation Next to the Child God in the Crib Part 1 - His Majesty

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

 

On the Dignity of the Child Jesus and His Most Holy Mother

Approach with me the crib of the Child God.

As we consider the infinite greatness of His birthplace, we will imagine a spacious grotto as high as a cathedral, with some of the stones arranged, as if by angels, in such a way as to remind us of the arches of the gothic Cathedrals of the Middle Ages.

We can also imagine the manger that served as a cradle for the Child God, the roughness of the wood sanctified by His Divine Presence. It is placed at a majestic point of the grotto; and a heavenly, golden light hovers over Him at that moment.

While still a newborn, the Divine Child lay in His crib with the majesty of a true King: King of all majesty and all glory; Creator of Heaven and Earth; God incarnate made man. From the first moment of His being, while “cloistered” away in His Mother’s womb, He had more majesty, grandeur, strength and power than all men throughout the history of mankind.

Imagine we are seeing all this mysteriously expressed on that Boy’s face. At times, as He moves, that movement reveals His kingly bearing. When He opens His eyes, we know we are in the presence of the Wisdom of the Ages.

A whole atmosphere of holiness surrounds those who approach Him. The very air one breathes has such purity that people do not even approach the place without asking forgiveness for their sins; but at the same time, the holiness emanating from the manger makes them want to amend their lives.

Also imagine Our Lady at the foot of the Child Jesus. She is truly a Queen. Her dignity and grandeur are so naturally a part of her being that even without wearing noble-looking garments, her dignity shines throughout the grotto.

 

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Majesty Exuding from Sanctity

From where does all this majesty come? Sanctity.

Let us shift our meditation momentarily to consider a more recent example of this type of majesty. We will turn to Saint Therese, the Little Flower. It is written that even as a child she was so dear and imposing that her father called her “my little queen.”

During the process of her canonization, the gardener of the Carmel of Lisieux reported that he once saw a nun working with her back to him: she was Saint Therese. The devil’s advocate* then asked, “How could you know she was Sister Therese when she had her back to you?” The gardener’s response was very significant: “I knew it through the majesty of her bearing, for no other nun had such majesty.”

If Saint Therese was like that, what would Our Lady be like?

Imagine the Mother of God kneeling before her Child’s crib. She is so majestic, transcendent and pure, praying to the Child God. Invisibly, angels sing songs of glory and the whole atmosphere is permeated with so much sanctity as to transform the poverty of the stable into a royal court.

Now we approach the manger, feeling the greatness of the Divine Child. As Catholics, we are worshiping all that is noble, pure, holy and steadfast, to fight and sacrifice all for the glory of God. The Boy before us mysteriously draws to Him all the goodness and grandeur that flow from Him and yet are but reflections of Him. For is it not true that all forms of purity, all forms of holiness, only exist because of His holiness?

Thus, fending away from us sin, error, disorder and chaos, we do not even dare to raise our eyes to that magnificent scene of the Nativity in which order, hierarchy and splendor permeate everything.

 

Click here: Christmas Meditation Part 2 - His Accessibility

 


*The term “devil’s advocate” refers to the popular title of the person appointed by the Roman Catholic Church to challenge a proposed beatification or canonization, according to the process used at the time of this writing.

 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 9, 2020

If you persevere until death in true devotion to Mary, your...

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July 9

 

If you persevere until death
in true devotion to Mary,
your salvation is certain.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

“Let’s go, we are going to heaven today!” exclaimed Fr...

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St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

Augustine Zhao Rong, is one of a group of 120 Catholics, among many more who were martyred between the years 1648 and 1930 in China.

Having come to China through Syria in the seventh century, down through the centuries Christianity has in turn thrived or gone into hiding, contingent upon the relations of China with the outside world.

Of the 120 martyrs mentioned above, eighty-seven were Chinese, ranging in age from nine to seventy-two, and four of them were priests. Thirty-three were foreign-born, mostly priests or women religious. Though the missionaries and religious tried to distance themselves from foreign policies, the Chinese government did not differentiate and saw them all as westerners.

The martyrdoms of China are most moving, each person having died heroically though many of them suffered torture and cruel deaths. Fr. Francis Li, grandson of a Chinese martyr, describes his grandfather going to his death joyfully saying to his brother and son, “Let’s go, we are going to heaven today!”

Zhao Rong was a bailiff of a county jail. During the persecution of 1772, he was moved by the words of Fr. Martinus Moye to his fellow Catholic prisoners, and, ultimately converted. He later became a priest, and when in 1815 another persecution broke out, he was arrested and tortured, and being aged, died of the ill treatment.

The group of 120 martyrs celebrate today headed by St. Augustine Zhao Rong was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. N...

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A Young Man and His Lady Love

In twelfth century England, a group of young men had gathered and were bragging of their various feats, as young men have done since the beginning of time.

The lively conversation went from archery to sword fighting to horsemanship, each trying to outdo the accomplishments of the others.

Finally, the young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

Thomas of Canterbury meant the most holy Virgin as the object of his affection, but afterwards, he felt some remorse at having made this boast. He did not want to offend his beloved Lady in any way.

Seeing all from her throne in heaven, Mary appeared to him in his trouble, and with a gracious sweetness said to him: "Thomas, what do you fear? You had reason to say that you loved me, and that you are beloved by me. Assure your companions of this, and as a pledge of the love I bear you, show them this gift that I make you."

The gift was a small box, containing a chasuble, blood-red in color. Mary, for the love she bore him, had obtained for him the grace to be a priest and a martyr, which indeed happened, for he was first made priest and afterwards Bishop of Canterbury, in England.

Many years later, he would indeed be persecuted by the king, and Thomas fled to the Cistercian monastery at Pontignac, in France.

Far from kith and kin, but never far from his Lady Love, he was attempting to mend his hair-cloth shirt that he usually wore and had ripped. Not being able to do it well, his beloved queen appeared to him, and, with special kindness, took the haircloth from his hand, and repaired it as it should be done.

After this, at the age of 50, he returned to Canterbury and died a martyr, having been put to death on account of his zeal for the Church.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

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