Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
THE SECOND DAY
The love of God in being born as an Infant.
The Son of God, in becoming human for our sake, might have appeared in the world at the age of a grown man, the way Adam appeared when he was created. But since children usually attract greater love to themselves from those who take care of them, Jesus chose to appear on earth, as an Infant and as the poorest and most miserable Infant ever born.
Saint Peter Chrysologus wrote: “Our God chose to be born this way because he wanted to be loved.” The prophet Isaiah had already predicted that the Son of God was to be born an Infant and give Himself entirely to us through the love He bore for us:
A child is born to us, a son is given to us (Isaiah 9:6a).
O my Jesus, almighty and true God, what else could possibly have attracted Thee to come from Heaven and be born in a cave, if not Thy love for us?
What convinced Thee to leave the lap of Thy Father and lay Thyself down in a manger?
What drew Thee down from Thy throne above the stars, to stretch Thyself out on a little pile of straw?
What, from the midst of the Nine Choirs of Angels, has placed Thee between these sheep and oxen?
Thou inﬂame the Seraphim with holy ﬁre, yet look, Thou trembles from the cold in this stable! Thou give the sun, the stars and the planets their paths of movement, yet now Thou cannot move at all without being carried in someone’s arms!
Thou provide food for all creatures and yet now, Thou depends on a little milk to sustain Thy life. Thou ary the delight of Heaven and yet, how is it that I now hear Thee whimper and cry? Tell me, who has reduced Thee to such lowliness? “Who has done this? Love has done it,” says Saint Bernard. Yes, the love that Thou hast for us has done it!
Affections and Prayers:
O Dearest Infant!
Tell me, what hast Thou come on earth to do?
Tell me, whom art Thou seeking?
Yes, I already know.
Thou hast come to die for me,
in order to save me from hell.
Thou hast come to seek me, the lost sheep,
so that, instead of fleeing from Thee any more,
I may rest in Thy loving arms.
Ah my Jesus, my Treasure, my life, my love and my all!
Whom will I love, if not Thee?
Where can I find a father, a friend, a spouse,
more loving and lovable than Thou art?
I love Thee, my dear God;
I love Thee, my only good.
I regret the many years,
when I have not loved Thee
but rather, spurned and offended Thee.
Forgive me, O my beloved Redeemer;
for I am sorry that I have thus treated Thee
and I regret it with all my heart.
Pardon me and give me the grace
never more to withdraw from Thee
but constantly, to love Thee in all the years
which still lie before me in this life.
My love, I give myself entirely to Thee.
accept me and do not reject me as I deserve.
O Mary, thou art my advocate.
By thy prayers thou dost obtain whatever thou wilt
from thy Son.
Pray Him then to forgive me
and to grant me holy perseverance until death.