A diverse range of Catholic spiritual topics relating to the spiritual life; for all who thirst in desire for God who is Truth, Beauty and Goodness. Herein one shall find mystical and spiritual expositions, along with a variety of poetry, tales and theologies; all of which have been written in a spirit of prayer for the sake of God's loving will.
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Just Another Day: Christmas
A poem followed by a brief reflection on Advent and the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
'Nativity with the Torch', Le Nain brothers, France.
horizon men yawn,
start just another
Day like all
the rest that have gone.
the world in each and all
continents the daily norm
potters in usual drawl.
all seems unusual,
in the Middle East in straw
baby most beautiful.
aware that he’s there,
doth lay the eternal
Saviour who needs our care.
The first advent, the first
coming of the Lord in the flesh as a helpless babe,was marked by an entrance into the world
relatively unannounced. We can
hardly enter into a room without making our present felt, and yet here we
have a God who comes in secret – concealed by poverty and hidden by
ordinariness. The feast day of our Lord’s birth was acclaimed by the prophets
for hundreds of years prior – and Israel was somewhat pregnant with anticipation.
Yet this celebration took place in a stable cave, and there were few who were
invited. Mary, Joseph, some cattle and other domestic beasts; along with
several shepherds. The Father sent forth angelic ambassadors to rally together
his chosen guests of honour – dirty, simple shepherds who believed the message
and made haste to Bethlehem, in order to feast on the Manna sent from above.
Indeed the Shepherd of Israel - who hailed from the line of David who was also a shepherd -
sought to gather to Himself those who shared His likeness. Even His Mother the
Shepherdess, yearned for the company of such little ones – as has been the case
in recent times through the Mother’s choice of visiting shepherd children at La
Salette, and Fatima. Besides these few, the approaching wise men, and the people
of Jerusalem who were aware of the elusive rumours of the birth of Christ, the
world was totally oblivious to the single most important event to ever take
place. Men awoke, and children played, women sewed, and cattle plowed – all as
if nothing out of the ordinary was taking place. Indeed the Second Coming will
be loud, mighty and majestic in awe and power – the whole earth will be shaken
to its foundations, and the waters will rock with tsunamis – even the blind and
the deaf will see and hear those things which shall transpire on that Last Day.
Yet in the meantime, in the mystical Second Comings of our Lord made manifest
in the Eucharist and in the perennial visitation of the Divine Will; and
likewise in the intermediate coming spoken of by St. Bernard – which shall be
somewhat louder – the Lord will come disguised and concealed. Certainly in our Bethlehem,
in our souls, He lays there in the manger of our heart, hidden behind the straw
of obscurity, numbness, and invisibility. Most are unaware of this reality at
all; some unknowingly seek to kill the life of Christ within like another Herod; some have
achieved this wicked deed in mortal sin (perhaps we have or once did in the past through our sins); some are vaguely aware He’s there; some admire Him
from a distance - lacking trust in God's Mercy and Goodness; whilst others – like those simple shepherds – adore Him and
play with Him in an intimacy of nearness. Why? Since these shepherds came to
Jesus through Mary and Joseph – whence it is written: “And they went with
haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger” (Lk 1:16). In
the same manner, those who are poor shepherds in spirit, who realise their nothingness and who thereby rely on and practice true devotion to Mary and Joseph - are
blessed with the grace of being able to hold the Infant Jesus in the arms of
their souls, in, with and through Mary and Joseph. There is no such thing as distance which divides them from their
Lord, for “the Lord fulfills the desires of the poor” (Ps 10:17).