Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Four – 19 December
The Life Of Humiliation Which Jesus Led From His Birth.
The Sign which the angel gave the shepherds to help them find the newborn Saviour, points to His lowliness: “This shall be a sign to you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” No other newborn baby who was wrapped in poor swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, a feeding trough for animals, could be found anywhere else but in a stable. Thus in lowliness the King of heaven, the Son of God, chose to be born, because He came to destroy the pride that had been the cause of man’s ruin.
The prophets had already foretold that our Redeemer was to be treated as the vilest of men on earth and that He was to be overwhelmed with insults. How much contempt had not Jesus indeed to suffer from men! He was called a drunkard, a trickster, a blasphemer and a heretic. What ignominies He endured in His Passion! His own disciples abandoned Him; one of them sold Him for thirty pieces of silver and another denied having ever known Him. He was led in bonds through the streets like a criminal; He was scourged like a slave, ridiculed as a fool, crowned with thorns as a mock king, buffeted and spit upon and finally left to die, hanging on a cross between two thieves, as the worst criminal in the world. “The noblest of all,” says Saint Bernard, “is treated as the vilest of all.” But the Saint adds, “The viler Thou are treated, the dearer Thou art to me. The more I see Thee, my Jesus, despised and put to shame, the more dear and worthy of my love dost Thou become to me.”
O Dearest Saviour,
You have embraced so many outrages
for love of me,
yet I have not been able to bear one word of insult
without at once being filled with resentful thought,
I who have so often deserved to be trodden
under foot by the demons in hell!
I am ashamed to appear before You,
sinful and proud as I am.
Yet do not drive me from Your presence, O Lord,
even though that is what I deserve.
You have said, that You will not spurn,
a contrite and humbled heart.
I am sorry for the offences
I have committed against You.
Forgive me, O Jesus. I will not offend You again.
For love of me You have borne so many injuries;
for love of You, I will bear all the injuries that are done to me.
I love You, Jesus, who was despised for love of me.
I love You above every other good.
Give me the grace to love You always
and to bear every insult for love of You.
O Mary, recommend me to your Son;
pray to Jesus for me.