Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
30 December – The Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave
“Consider that the manger served as Jesus’ cradle, straw was His bed and straw His pillow, so that He was constantly interrupted in His sleep by the hardness and roughness of this little bed. Notwithstanding all of this, the sweet babe, from time to time, slept despite His sufferings. But the sleep of Jesus, differed from other children. The slumbers of other children are useful for the preservation of life but not for the operations of the soul, because, the soul, being buried in sleep along with the senses, cannot work but such was not the sleep of Jesus Christ. Let us ask Him, by the merit of His blessed slumbers, to deliver us from the deadly slumber of sinners, who unhappily sleep in the death of sin, forgetful of God and of His love. Instead we ask for the sleep of the holy spouse, when the soul forgets all earthly things, to attend only to God and to the things that concern the glory of God.
My beloved and holy Infant, in humans sleep is the emblem of death but in You, it is the sign of eternal life because while You are sleeping You merit for me eternal salvation. Make me always love You in this life so that I may breathe forth my soul in Your arms, united to You, sleeping with You forever, without fear of losing You again.”
All who keep his commandments abide in him and he in them.
And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.
1 John 3:24
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Lord Jesus Christ,
meek and humble of heart,
You offer to those who follow You,
a yoke that is good to bear,
a burden that is light.
Accept, we beg You, our prayer and work of the day
and grant us the rest, we need,
that we may be ever more willing to serve only You.
Save us Lord,
while we are awake,
protect us while we sleep,
that we may keep watch with Christ
and rest with Him in peace,